Immigration, Marriage, And Divorce
There are many reasons why a couple decide to end a marriage. Similarly, the reasons they decide to get married can vary. For example, some individuals choose to marry for immigration purposes. In these situations, a citizen of the United States of American may choose to marry an individual who is a foreign national. Then, later, they may decide to divorce.
If you have married for immigration reasons and now want to divorce, know there are many complexities to consider. Immigration law is changing all the time. Talk to a Bucks County family attorney about your situation in order to determine the best path forward.
What if I’m Not a Citizen?
For individuals who are not a U.S. citizen but want to remain in the United States after divorcing their spouse who is a citizen, it is important you understand your rights.
Often, a spouse who is an immigrant will have a conditional resident status at the time of a marriage. Then, if you file a petition to obtain permanent resident status, that request can move forward. This typically happens after two years of a conditional resident status. If a divorce is filed any time during this process, your status as a resident may not be guaranteed. Deportation is possible in extreme circumstances.
What is a Burden of Proof?
It is always necessary to provide documentation that establishes the union was a true marriage in order to obtain legal residence. This burden of proof could include documentation of one or more of the following.
- Financial reports that illustrate finances were shared
- Documentation of each spouse being the beneficiary of the other
- Tax returns that were filed jointly
- Statements from friends or family
- Pictures of the wedding and time spent together in marriage
- Participation in an interview process
Interviews can vary, sometimes the couple is interviewed together but in other situations they are performed individually. Questions that could be asked include how the couple manages their daily life and what their schedules are regarding work, school or other commitments.
U.S. citizens also may have to supply documentation that they have the financial ability to support another individual, their foreign spouse. Often the determination is that the person has an income that is, at a minimum, 125% or the current poverty threshold.
If the burden of proof is established and the marriage does not last, it is possible the ex-spouse will be eligible for spousal support. Many factors need to be considered to know what is possible. The reason for the dissolution of the marriage could be a factor in determining how assets and debts will be distributed and how custody will be handled.
Are you seeking advice about how to manage a divorce involving immigration concerns? The family law attorneys at Kardos, Rickles & Hand help to untangle complicated matters and inform you of your options. Our dedicated legal team understands the finer points of family law. There are opportunities to create the life you want. Schedule your free consultation today, call 215-968-6602.