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Family Law: termination of parental rights, rights of the child, child support. (USA)

Dear Karina Duvall,

I've decided to go ahead and seek a paid consultation with you. Per your request, I've paid the consultation fee at your website. Clearly, I hope that you'll be able to help me and my fiance out.

So, as previously mentioned, our situation is as follows. I’m a US citizen who is engaged to a Ukrainian woman. At the moment we are applying for a K-1 fiancee visa. Our major problem is that her ex-husband will not give us permission to take their son out of Ukraine. It should also be said that denying him custody of the child here in Ukraine will be impossible. He doesn’t do very much for his son, but apparently the ex does just enough. With all of that being said, we are still planning on bringing the child to the States. My questions now are two-fold.

First, once in the US, would it be possible to file for custody in a family court in the US? If so, how can we prepare for this eventuality now? What sort of advice could you offer now, and would this be a case you could take on in the near future?

Also, I should mention that I’m very worried about the possibility of my fiance’s ex-husband haunting us later in the future. While my fiancee is applying for a K-1 fiancee visa, we are planning on asking a Ukrainian court for permission to take the child from Ukraine on medical grounds. With that being said, I want to know what we can do (or even if this is the best strategy) to mitigate (or even prevent) the possibility of her ex-husband showing that the child was removed from Ukraine on false pretenses. Any advice or guidance you can offer in this would also be greatly appreciated.

I hope I've explained our situation adequately. Please let me know if you have any questions. Many thanks, and I look forward to your response.


If your fiancee receives any other visa for her child except of K3, she still can change child’s immigration status and bring to the Family Court custody issues. You need just to find proper attorney in the United States for resolving these issues after your marriage in the United States. Child’s father may require through the court that the child will be returned to Ukraine, but it is possible if child lives with him, not with mother.

I do not think that medical visa will be proper way for you. The mother has to prove to Ukrainian court it is really necessary, child can’t receive this treatment in Ukraine, and she can afford it in the United States. I don’t think she can. She cannot rely on your health insurance, because it will automatically open her plans to get married and to move to United States. This way could complicate or make impossible your plans.

First of all, she needs to ask the Ukrainian court to determine the place of residence of the child with the mother. I know a lot of examples from practice, when such a decision was enough for the US Embassy to get visa for child.

At the same time, Ukrainian law requires parents’ consent even for departure from Ukraine. The court can give this permission for any other excuse; she does not have to open her plans about United States. The Ukrainian Courts generally let children go abroad for temporary trips. If in the same time she will receive US visa for child, she could move to United States permanently.

Yes, we are specialized in matrimonial and custody cases, and will be happy to help you. If you are interested to work with me, please provide me following information and documentation: place were the parties’ lives, copy of divorce judgement, copy of child’s birth certificate, and copy of her passport. We will discuss price and other terms after that.

I will be glad to help you.

Articles and consultations authored by attorney reflect the state of law as of the date of their writing. The laws change daily. Users of this site are advised to consult attorney regarding their situation.
Karina Duvall
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