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Family Law Blog

Can I help a child get lawful residency in the U.S.?

If you are considering adoption, you likely want nothing more than to make sure a child feels loved and they have a safe and happy home. You may be considering adopting a child who is an immigrant to give a young person better opportunities in the United States than they may have in their home country.

If the child is an immigrant, it can be a bit complicated, as they need to ensure their resident status in the U.S. is secure. One way children can receive permanent residency through adoption is by applying for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS).

What is Special Immigrant Juvenile Status?

The United States offers immigration statuses for many different types of individuals, but one of the lesser known options available to applicants specifically helps children in need of a new home.

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) allows immigrant children who are in the state juvenile system to obtain lawful permanent resident status. In SIJS cases, children typically meet certain criteria or are unable to reunify with their parents for one of these three reasons:

Jolie and Pitt still in legal battle over their 6 children

People who don't follow the tabloids or watch celebrity "news" shows might assume that the Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie divorce was settled long ago. The power couple filed for divorce over two years ago, in September 2016. They had been married for just two years, but they had been together for over a decade.

However, the two are still at odds, and their battles have gained some media attention. Their next court date is scheduled for early in December. One major issue is custody of their six children.

What a private judge can -- and can't -- do for divorcing couples

Here in Los Angeles, people sometimes read about celebrity couples hiring private judges to oversee their divorces. However, you don't need to star on a TV show or have an Oscar to hire a private judge.

You also don't need to be a multimillionaire -- although you will need to spend some money. However, if your time is valuable to you, it may be worth your while.

Shared custody options for Thanksgiving

It's never too early for divorced parents to determine how their kids will divide their time over the Thanksgiving holiday. If you included Thanksgiving in your custody agreement during your divorce, you're a step ahead. Of course, that doesn't mean that you and your co-parent can't agree to change your predetermined arrangement.

If you live here in Calabasas and your kids attend school in the Las Virgenes Unified School District (LVUSD), they have the entire week of Thanksgiving off. Some other school districts and private schools do as well. However, the big celebrations on both sides of your family will likely be on Thanksgiving Day and over the weekend.

Addressing child custody if it crosses the border

There are plenty of reasons why people move whether it is for a job, family members or a change in scenery. However, crossing state borders often complicates child custody agreements and possible divorce proceedings.

In almost every state, including California, the court has specific procedures to modify custody agreements. It’s crucial for both parents to be aware of the process and change the custody conditions before anyone packs their bags.

How a new California law impacts pets of divorcing couples

Last month, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that will provide new guidance to California family law judges who are asked to determine which spouse will get to keep the family pets or how the couple will share "custody" of them during and after the divorce.

The new law, which takes effect at the beginning of 2019, instructs judges to consider the well-being of the animal and look at testimony and evidence presented by each side regarding how involved they've been in the animals' care during the marriage.

Making child custody exchange safe for children and parents

The exchange of child custody is one of the most stressful situations a child can endure, especially if their parents cannot get along. It's important for the parents or guardians of the children to do everything in their power to make the exchange of child custody as safe for their children and themselves as possible. Let's take a look at some important tips to make this happen.

First and foremost, it's important to pick a location that is neutral for everyone. This can be a police station, a fire station, a public library or even the child's school. This will make both parents or guardians feel comfortable and help the child at the same time.

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