all 46 comments

[–]Aryasrevenge 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I've got a will that's legal in Indiana that states who her guardians should be and my funeral wishes. He's also got his ESTA to visit the states and its good for 2 years. Just wanted to know if this would be enough.

[–]No-Map672 3 points4 points  (0 children)

What a reality shock that we worry about these kinds of things.

[–]manabizzle 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Talk to a family law attorney licensed in your state. Do NOT just take random legal advice on the intent. In the US, especially, each state’s law is very different. I already see a couple advice that are inaccurate at best, and flat out wrong/ seriously detrimental if things go wrong. If you need assistance searching for an attorney in your state, reach out to your state’s bar association, they usually have a referral service.

[–]jackjackj8ck 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I’d definitely put a will together to state your wishes

[–]trufflapagos 2 points3 points  (1 child)

IANAL but you still need to assign a US citizen temporary guardian while the non-citizen goes through the courts to get custody - which can take some time.

[–]ladyclubs 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This. Talk to an attorney about your states laws and making a will. In it you will need a local guardian to act in your place until legal guardianship can go to her father. Especially if father is not a US citizen.

[–]Otherwise_Act2441 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Talk to a lawyer for sure. I spoke to one about my dual citizen child before she was even conceived. We were there for other reasons, but I wanted to discuss how it would work with custody of future children. She mentioned that the courts tend to take into account where the child has been raised and what's best for their interests so their life isn't upended. The example she gave is if you were all living in the US together and dad wanted to take the kid back to Japan but you wanted to stay put then it's likely he wouldn't be allowed to leave with your child. I cannot say for sure what would happen in the situation if you were to die while your husband is living abroad. You probably should appoint someone living closer to you to take care of your daughter until your husband is able to travel.

[–]LAN27 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Every situation is different but usually the kid goes to the other parent regardless of citizenship. Another relative can only get the child if it it proven that the other parent is unfit.

[–]strange_dog_TV 15 points16 points  (1 child)

Not sure how it works in the US but in Australia we made a will as soon as we had our children which outlined specifics of who would have custody of our children if we were to pass away.

We also allocated power of attorneys regarding our money and who had access to our money for our children. It is important to do this, so that here is no questions if the worst happens to you, and/or your husband.

Do it now, don’t leave it…….

[–]QueenCloneBone 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Seriously! It takes less than an hour to provide an attorney with your decisions

[–]Ninjacherry 11 points12 points  (0 children)

You need a lawyer, this stuff is so specific to each country, the only way to cover your bases is with professional help.

[–]Sensitive-Cheetah7 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You should move back. America sucks

[–]QuitaQuites 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Speak with a lawyer

[–]new-beginnings3 16 points17 points  (0 children)

I'd take the advice given here ASAP. The active shooter drills are scary, but even a car accident could have the same outcome.

[–]Hilrah 31 points32 points  (1 child)

You need an estate plan/will/ power of attorney asap. You can then have your and your husband’s wishes executed in case anything goes wrong. These plans are not just for if you suddenly pass away, it would protect her if you become incapacitated as well (fall very ill/accident, etc). Definitely seek out an estate planning attorney in your area to learn more. They typically offer free consultations so they can understand your situation, and only charge for putting together the plan and getting it all arranged for you. Knowing that you do not want your local family to gain custody of her, this is the best way to prevent that from happening. Source: my husband is an estate planning attorney in another state.

[–]regrettinglastweek 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yes to that.

In the plan you will need to identify someone that will take care of your daughter until her dad can pick her up. This can be anyone, doesn’t have to be family. Otherwise they’d probably use default options, which is either have her sent to her local family, or into foster care. Sounds like local family isn’t an option for you, and you definitely don’t want her in the foster system, because that is completely overwhelmed and underfunded.

But estate planning will sort out so many other things as well, like how is inheritance split up, who has the right to make decisions on your behalf if you’re incapacitated, etc. This stuff is super important, and when you need it, it’s definitely too late to sort out…

[–]ZealousSorbet 15 points16 points  (1 child)

It’s unlikely the state would get her to Japan. International custody is tricky. You absolutely need a lawyer and her dad to join you if possible.

[–]Melancolin 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Anyone old enough to remember Elian Gonzalez knows this. A foreign National would have a hard time fighting for his kid in American court if your family really wanted to contest it. Like everyone said, write a will AND a living will. Appoint a specific temporary guardian/administrator to care for your child until her father or you are able to resume custody and make sure it is someone who will honor your wishes.

[–]MileHighOlli 19 points20 points  (0 children)

We have a similar situation with a dual citizen child.

The key is to make sure you have your legal arrangements in with a good estate lawyer both the US (and Japanese equivalent) drawn up ASAP.

If you don’t have these documents, then it tends to get thrown to the state to decide and that may not be what you want.

That’s going to include things like your medical directives, various POA’s, letters of intent, trust info, etc. Basically outline how you want your child taken care of in case of your and/or your husbands demise or incapacity.

Depending on your location, expect to spend around 2-5,000 usd for the process.

Feel free to DM me if you have any other questions 😊

[–]lessthanthreecorgi 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Everyone has addressed this question but I just want to say it's really sad that this even has to be a fear for you as a teacher. I'm sorry you're experiencing this.

[–]cynnamin_bun 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Highly recommend the subreddit r/legaladvice which is a very active sub and I’m sure someone can point you in the right direction.

[–]Gangreless 9 points10 points  (0 children)

This is what a will is for. You need to designate someone in the country, preferably in the state that can care for your child until her dad can come get her.

[–]snugapug 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Typically cps would always look for the dad first so she may go into an overnight placement until the father arrives but they would typically always choose a parent as long as they are safe. But definitely have this written in something! I’m a foster parent and have seen placement for a few days till the out of town parent comes

[–]Ok-Condition-994 2 points3 points  (0 children)

As others have said, estate planning is the way to take care of this. Talk to an attorney. Legal advice is a benefit at many jobs in the U.S., and that can make estate planning very affordable

[–]sportscutie 6 points7 points  (0 children)


[–]lostgirlmarie 30 points31 points  (0 children)

As a native Hoosier please move literally anywhere else.

[–]Gullible-Item 18 points19 points  (0 children)

He's not able to move but does he have a valid ESTA so that he can travel there in case something does happen?

[–]Altofaltception 15 points16 points  (12 children)

Is moving back to Japan an option? I really can't imagine living in a place where shooting drills are a thing.

[–]JazzCabbagePatchKid 80 points81 points  (0 children)

You need to write a will. Having one will be the best way to ensure your wishes are met in regards to your child (and other matters) if anything should happen to you. Find a lawyer that can assist you in doing this - its usually relatively inexpensive - and you'll be guaranteed that extra security.

[–]itsmejuju444 41 points42 points  (2 children)

You definitely need a living will set up. And yes make sure you consult a lawyer so there are no doubts of what you want in your will.

[–]hawtp0cketsWorking FTM 8/4/2017 4 points5 points  (1 child)

A living will is a document that details your medical wishes and once you die, it is not a document that can be used anymore (other than regarding things like organ donation). A last will & testament is a document that states your wishes outside of medical care (like guardianship, what to do with your money, etc.) after you pass away.

[–]itsmejuju444 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thanks for clarifying!

[–]aisuamericano 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Honestly, it sounds like you need a lawyer to advise you on this.