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Father fights for custody of his children in North Carolina court

Frequently different areas of law will intersect or heavily impact each other. For example, any criminal proceedings against an individual could strongly impact that individual's custody proceedings in a family court in North Carolina. A child custody dispute that has been making headlines in North Carolina recently deals with the intersection of family law, criminal law and immigration.

A man that illegally crossed the border in 2003 from Mexico married a U.S. citizen in North Carolina shortly after his arrival. The couple had three sons together while the father worked at a Christmas tree farm.

In North Carolina, a valid Social Security number is required for obtaining a driver's license; therefore the father was driving unlicensed and thereby ticketed on multiple occasions. Because of this, the father was arrested and deported. The mother of the children was deemed an unfit parent, so the three young boys were split up and sent to live with two foster families.

Over the past two years, the father has been fighting for custody of his children while Alleghany County officials have been fighting to terminate the father's parental rights. The foster families of the children wanted to adopt the boys and the county pushed to see this happen. The father was likely distraught at this possibility, saying, "I love my kids and I will do whatever I need to be with them. I grew up without my mother and father. I didn't want my kids to grow up and face the same thing. I didn't want them to say someday I did not fight for them."

Last week, a North Carolina judge ordered the small boys to be reunited with their father. The boys will live with their father in North Carolina for a brief period while the court monitors this transition before the official decision is made for the boys to move to Mexico with their father.

Source: NBC 29, "NC judge: Return US-born children to deported dad," Michael Biesecker, Nov. 27, 2012

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