Articles Posted in Family Law

Can divorce affect your immigration status? If your U.S. Visa was granted because of your spouse’s application, you may find yourself wondering what could happen if you and your spouse separate or get a divorce. The answer varies depending on how far along you are in the immigration process.

Approved visa petition (USCIS Form I-130): Form I-130 is a form submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services by a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident petitioning for a close relative (here, a spouse) who intends to immigrate to the U.S. Approval of the petition does not create status and if you divorce at this point in the process, you will not be able to proceed toward U.S. immigration.

Conditional Residence: If you used your spouse’s status to gain immigration status to the U.S. within two years of your marriage, you are a conditional resident.  Conditional Residence is a two-year green card given to a spouse whose marriage is less than two years old. To become a permanent resident, you and your spouse will jointly file a Form I-751 within the final 90 days of your conditional residence green card. Form I-751 is a petition to remove conditions on residence. If you divorce after being granted conditional residence but before filing Form I-751 to remove conditions, you may be able to get a waiver of the other spouse’s signing requirement, but you will have to show that the marriage was bona fide (genuine).  This is to ensure that the marriage was in good faith and not entered for the sole purpose of fraudulently obtaining a green card. Proving that the marriage was not fraudulent can be a daunting task and you will likely need an attorney’s help the specific evidence you will need to get a waiver of the spouses signature.

According to the U.S. Census, last year, approximately one million children were affected by custody issues. ( Parenthood.com) Child custody is undoubtedly one of the most contentious issues surrounding the breakup of a couple with children together- married or not, the couple must decide who, where, and how to continue to parent their children. And it’s almost never as simple as which parent’s home the child will stay and on which days. Separating parents face a myriad of questions when it comes to custody-  not only where will the child stay and when, but who will be in charge of taking them to activities? Who will pay medical costs? Can we go on trips without the other parents permission? Who can be around the child? How do we handle new spouses/partners relationships with the child?

It’s understandably overwhelming. And for many reasons, a courtroom isn’t necessarily the best place to get all of those questions answered.

Oftentimes, parents who are splitting up are willing and ready to decide custody matters amongst themselves- but want an extra layer of protection. That is where a Custody Consent Order comes in- and an experienced custody attorney.

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