*Child Custody and Immigration-Related Abuse: Myths and Best Practices National Webinar (December 13, 2021)

Parents have a constitutional right to care and custody of their children regardless of the parent’s or the child’s immigration status. Despite this, perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence against immigrant victims with whom they have children in common frequently raise immigration status-related issues and provide courts with legally incorrect information to gain advantage in custody litigation. This webinar will discuss the most common immigration status-related myths that parties raise in contested custody cases. Faculty will provide legally correct and up-to-date information on immigration laws, and policies that counter abuser’s allegations and evidence-based research findings demonstrating how immigrant victims and their children thrive as victims receive the benefits of VAWA and U visa immigration relief.

Presenters will also discuss the best interest of the child in custody cases involving domestic violence survivors and how the trauma of domestic violence impacts the health, wellbeing, and brain development of children who witness domestic violence in their homes.  In addition, faculty will offer strategies to help immigrant survivors prevent parental kidnapping, provide for safer visitation, obtain custody orders in protection order cases, and secure child support orders.

Faculty Presenters:

  • Leslye Orloff, Director, National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP), American University Washington College of Law
  • Judge Rosemary Collins, (Ret.) 17th Judicial Circuit Court, Domestic Violence Coordinated Courts (DVCC), Rockford, Illinois

Training Materials

PowerPoint Presentation: Child Custody and Immigration-Related Abuse: Myths and Best Practices (Dec. 13, 2021)

Recording: Both English and Spanish

NIWAP offers a full library of SJI supported materials for courts.

NIWAP also offers technical assistance for judges and court staff. Find out how to receive NIWAP’s technical assistance from NIWAP’s experts, family law and judicial faculty here.  Please contact NIWAP for Technical Assistance by calling (202) 274-4457 or emailing us at info@niwap.org.

If you are a judge or judicial faculty, please consider joining our National Judicial Network. You can find more information about the National Judicial Network here.

You can also visit the family law issues section of NIWAP’s web library here.  

To receive updates, sign up for NIWAP’s outreach list. You can elect NIWAP’s general outreach list to receive notices of trainings, webinars, new materials, resources and policies. Judges, court staff, law enforcement and prosecutors can sign up for lists exclusively open to staff working at one of these government agencies.

Webinars for Judges or Helpful to Judges and Family Lawyers

Custody, Immigrant Survivors and Children

Victims of Trauma

Access to Public Benefits

VAWA Confidentiality, Discovery and Courthouse Enforcement

Child Welfare Cases Involving Immigrant Families and Children

Immigrant Survivors

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and U Visa Certification

Family Law Cases: Special Issues for Immigrant Crime Victims and Children

Family Law Service of Process


Child Development and Trauma

Securing a Detained Parent’s Participation in Court Proceedings Involving Children

Protection Orders


Economic Relief

Affidavits of Support Enforcement in State Courts

Immigrant Children and Child Welfare Proceedings

Child Abuse, Neglect, Child Welfare and Termination of Parental Rights

Public Benefits Access of Immigrant Victims

Language Access

Forms of Immigration Relief

Immigration Relief for Crime Victims and Children

Know Your Rights Information

DHS Immigration Policies

Human Trafficking

U and T Visa Certification

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, Child Abuse & Protective Battered Immigrant Parents

Full Training Manual

The Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Bench Book: A National Guide to Best Practice for Judges and Courts (April 2018)  

Selected Sections Most Relevant to State Family Law Cases

VAWA Confidentiality

Bench Cards

VAWA Confidentiality Statues, Regulations and Policies

Training Materials

Statute, Regulations, Policies and DHS Publications

VAWA Confidentiality, Protected Areas, Sensitive Locations,  and Courthouse Enforcement Policies

VAWA Confidentiality and State Court Discovery

Screening Tools

Access to Justice and Crime Victim Protections/Research Memos and Articles


**If you have difficulty accessing this publication please contact for assistance NIWAP at (202) 274-4457 or info@niwap.org

This webpage and publication was also developed under grant number SJI-20-E-005 from the State Justice Institute. The points of view expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the State Justice Institute.