What steps canI take to ensure thatmy wife doesn’t leave the country with our daughter?

UPDATED: Jan 26, 2011

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What steps canI take to ensure thatmy wife doesn’t leave the country with our daughter?

My wife has a conditional green card and the 2 year period ends sometime in 2011. I’m going to move out tomorrow and move back in with family, however I have reason to believe that  my wife could leave the country and take our daughter with her at some point. I’ve been unemployed for a year now and she has always made way more money then me. Her family in Asia has a lot of money and she sees life there as better then in the states. I’d like to retain some form of custody. How can I keep my daughter in California? I don’t want to lose my right to see her completely. We have only been married since 12/07.

Asked on January 26, 2011 under Family Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your situation but before you move out I would speak with an attorney in your area on the matter. You may need to bring an emergency petition for custody and to as the court to have your wife surrender her passport if you think that she will leave the country with your daughter.  I am unsure of what proof you will need that she is a "flight risk" and if you can proof it to the extent that the court will need to order it.  But yo may have a good shot of having temporary physical custody if you can be the stay at home dad to care for her while your wife is working.  It is not so unusual in this day and age to have these reverse roles and maybe you can use your unemployment position to your advantage.  The problem may lie in that you are moving in with your family but maybe not: an extended and supportive family environment is good for any child.  Just don't move out until you have consulted with an attorney.  You lose leverage.  Good luck. 

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