Trump’s Executive Order and Its Impact on Tampa Family Law Cases

Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration ┬áimpacts more than the US border.

As the saying goes, all is fair in love and war, and plenty of Florida spouses will use whatever ammunition they can find in divorce proceedings. Spouses treating divorce as a war to be won is one thing, but it is quite another when the ammunition they are using is based on a president’s executive order.

Astonishingly, President Trump’s recent Executive Order on immigration is being used by spouses to gain an advantage in Tampa Bay family law cases of all kinds.

How Spouses Are Using Trump’s Executive Order to Gain Leverage

On January 25, 2017, President Trump signed the Executive Order by the title of “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States”. For the average American, this order is more commonly known as the instrument by which individuals can be deported for a variety of reasons that were not possible before this order took effect.

Now, Trump’s Order is set to directly impact Florida family law matters related to domestic violence, child custody/child support, spousal support and more. The order is well-known for its ability to deport aliens for committing, attempting or conspiring to commit certain crimes.

What is less known is that Trump’s Order allows for the deportation of aliens who have simply been charged with a criminal offense, even if the charge has yet to be resolved. Worse, even offenses like speeding can result in deportation, as well as non-criminal conduct such as admitting to the abuse of drugs or being a drug addict.

And, since this order allows aliens to be deported before, during and after family law proceedings based on this criteria, it is clear why some Florida litigants are already using the new order to their advantage. The conduct that can lead to deportation has been significantly expanded under President Trump, and litigants are all too eager to use the new order as a weapon with which to bludgeon their family law opponents into submission.

For example, individuals can threaten to deport their alien partners, using the threat as means to control them in a wide variety of family law situations, including domestic violence. Additionally, if a U.S. citizen married an alien, the threat of deportation could be used as leverage in a divorce proceeding on issues like child custody, child support and spousal support.

The order could even impact whether a spouse can collect their child support or spousal support collectively. Imagine that the spouse entitled to support is an alien. This spouse could be threatened with deportation if they try to collect. Alternatively, if an alien is ordered to pay support and is deported, their obligation to pay will disappear when they do (since support orders are unenforceable nationally as a general rule).

In summary, Trump’s Order greatly expands the deportation possibilities, which has led to litigants using the order as a threat to gain the advantage toward a more desirable family law outcome.

If you have questions regarding your family and recent Executive Orders, or are unaware as to the terms and conditions in, talk to, and retain, a family law attorney who can help. Contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at [email protected]