According to Family Law, Are In Laws Immediate Family? - Kimberly Hays Law | Divorce Lawyer | Tulsa, OK
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-16296,single-format-standard,bridge-core-3.0.2,qode-page-transition-enabled,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-theme-ver-28.8,qode-theme-bridge,disabled_footer_top,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.13.0,vc_responsive

According to Family Law, Are In Laws Immediate Family?

In Family Law, Are In Laws Immediate Family?

According to Family Law, Are In Laws Immediate Family?

During cases of emergency, in-laws are considered a part of the immediate family, meaning that certain legal and financial obligations apply. In most cases, however, in-laws are treated as extended family members and do not qualify for the same rights and privileges as a spouse or birth parent. In general, Family Law does not consider in-laws to be immediate family members.

Are In Laws Immediate Family According to Family Law?

Does Family Law Consider In-laws To Be Immediate Family?

The answer to this question is both yes and no. It ultimately depends on the specifics of each case. Generally, in-laws are considered part of the extended family, but under certain circumstances, such as when a spouse dies and the surviving parent has financial or caretaking responsibilities for their in-laws, they may be considered immediate family.

Immediate Family Defined

Generally, a person’s closest family consists of their spouse, parents, siblings, and children. Depending on the laws or organizations that define this grouping. It could also include extended relatives like in-laws. Therefore these definitions may change depending on which system is used to identify an individual’s immediate family.

Legal Definition Of Immediate Family?

Immediate family members include your parents, siblings, spouse, biological and adopted children, as well as step-children. It also includes grandparents and grandchildren. In terms of legal matters, in-laws are typically not provided with the same rights as immediate family members.

This includes things such as inheritance, guardianship, and visitation rights. For example, a spouse will be given priority over an in-law when it comes to making important decisions related to their common partner or child. In addition, the court may choose to grant guardianship of a child to their birth parents or legal guardian over an in-law if the situation arises.

Establishing who is in a person’s immediate family can be done with two indicators: Through blood relation (a common ancestor) or marriage.

In the latter scenario, this would involve in-laws and step-children, for example.

When it comes to family law and family court proceedings, the definition of the immediate family can vary depending on the state or jurisdiction. Some states include in-laws in their definition of an individual’s immediate family and some do not. To determine if in-laws are considered immediate family under your state’s Family Law, you should contact a qualified legal professional for more information.

Are In-Laws Immediate Family?


When both parents are deemed unfit to provide adequate care for the child, grandparents may be granted custody. In cases of a deceased parent, however, visiting rights with grandchildren can still be given. That said, if one biological parent proves suitable and capable of raising the child, any custodial rights held by grandparental figures that have been playing an influential role may become nullified.

Grandparents have a powerful claim to custody when the child has been living with them for an extended period.

If you are looking to gain guardianship of your grandchildren, then speaking with a family attorney is essential. Don’t wait any longer; take action today and get one step closer to gaining custody.


Obtaining child custody can be a tricky situation when parents, step-parents, or non-parents are involved. If the step-parent has been an integral part of the child’s life and was their main caregiver, it increases their chances of gaining legal rights over them. Additionally, if they have taken on parental roles, such as schooling and medical care, this will further reinforce their claim against that of the biological parent.

What About Immediate Family and Immigration?

Foreign nationals desiring to settle in the United States for an extended period require an immigrant visa (IV). A U.S citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident must petition on behalf of their foreign relative to apply for this IV, also known as a green card.

Family-based immigration visas are divided into two categories:

Immediate Relative

For those with close familial relations to a U.S. citizen, such as children, spouses, or parents, the immediate relative visa is available and reliable; no limits are set in this category each fiscal year.

Family Preference

Every year, the United States government limits the number of immigrants who can enter on visas for distant family connections with U.S. citizens and specific relationships with Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs).

It is important to remember that U.S. citizens can apply for an immigration visa to bring their closest family members into the country. This includes a husband or wife, brother or sister, unmarried son or daughter under the age of 21, and even a parent!

U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents can apply for an immigrant visa to bring the following family members into the country: unmarried sons or daughters under 21, and immediate relatives with whom they are forming a relationship.

If you are a United States citizen or permanent resident looking to bring your loved ones over, the first step is filing Form I-130—Petition for Alien Relative. This petition allows us to establish an eligible relationship and determine a visa number.

If you have plans of marrying someone from abroad, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered; just submit Form I-129F—Petition for Alien Fiancé and your law firm should handle the rest.

Upon approval, they will receive their K-1 nonimmigrant visa so they can join you in America!

Filing an I-130 is merely the initial step in the overall process.

Next, you must proceed with applying for a green card via consular processing or adjustment of status.

Fortunately, immediate relatives don’t have to be concerned about visa bulletins.

There are no prescribed limits on how many immediate family members can request visas, so they need not worry about waiting in line or tracking updates from the bulletin.

Family Law, In Laws, and Immediate Family

Inapplicability of Bars to Adjustment

U.S. citizens’ immediate family members may be exempted from certain adjustment restrictions (INA 245(c)). Typically, foreign nationals must maintain legal status to change their status to permanent resident; thus, an overstayed visa can result in a rejection of the application for adjustment of status. Moreover, any unauthorized work done within the United States will impede a successful outcome for this application. Therefore, if any illegal employment is carried out before or after submitting an adjustment form, it could lead to its denial.

The “Immediate Relative” category has distinct exceptions. In these cases, those applying for a Green Card under this type may be eligible to file Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status Application). For example, even if they do not meet the standard requirements, an applicant who is seeking permanent residence in the US through their close relatives may still submit their paperwork. Have you gained employment or had prior employment in the United States without legal authorization? Are you struggling to sustain a lawful immigration status while residing in the US and violating non-immigrant terms? If so, then you are qualified for an adjustment application.

An immediate relative visa typically receives approval within five to nine months, while the process for all other categories might take anywhere from five months to several years. Unfortunately, delays are quite common due to incorrect information or documents being submitted in the application.


In-laws as an immediate family can vary from state to state or jurisdiction. In the United States, Family Law’s definition of immediate family mainly includes spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs). Other family members, such as in-laws, aunts, uncles, and cousins, generally do not qualify as immediate family under U.S. immigration law.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.