Be prepared – plan for your family

If you have children, decide who will take care of them in case something happens and make sure that person agrees. Make sure you have the person’s phone number on your “list of important numbers.”

When it comes to arranging for someone to have responsibility for your children, you have three options. Think carefully before deciding on any of the options below and consult an attorney when necessary.

  1. You can informally leave your children with someone you trust. They cannot make legal decisions for your child and the arrangement doesn’t give them any legal authority over your child.
  2. You can make arrangements to designate a temporary caretaker, which is a temporary agreement where you give the caretaker some power to make certain parental decisions on your behalf. You must have this form notarized, you should be able to do this process while in detention, although it might be more difficult. You can cancel this arrangement at any time. Learn more.
  3. You can give legal custody or guardianship to your trusted relative or friend. This is a legal proceeding that is a much more complicated and binding process that requires you to go to family court to obtain an order, which might limit your parental rights and might be harder to reverse after it is finalized. You should discuss this option with an attorney before committing to this legal proceeding.

In order for your family to be able to care for you, choose someone you trust to make decisions for you if are detained. That person can sign a Power of Attorney agreement that will allow them to do things like get money from your bank account, access confidential documents, or pay important bills.

If you have medical health issues, you can also prepare a HIPAA Release, which will allow your relative access to your medical records.

If you live in New York City and are a person of low-income, you might be able to get a free city lawyer in your immigration deportation case.