Am I obligated to pay spousal support to my immigrant spouse? . . . MAYBE

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Many U.S. citizens and permanent residents are shocked after they divorce their immigrant spouse, to realize what they signed on to with USCIS Form I-864, the Affidavit of Support. It creates an obligation for the sponsor to annually support the immigrant at an amount that's 125% or more of the U.S. Poverty Guidelines levels until the immigrant either:

  • becomes a U.S. citizen
  • earns 40 work quarters credited toward Social Security (approximately ten years of work)
  • dies, or
  • permanently leaves the United States.

Notice that "divorce" is not on the above list. However, if you are contemplating divorce from your spouse and either you or your spouse is a foreign national, and one of you signed an Affidavit of Support through an immigration petition, it is crucial that you mention this when speaking with a family law attorney.

At The Marin Law Firm, our family law attorneys understand the impact that an Affidavit of Support has and know how important it is to include it in the dissolution pleadings in settlement negotiations. Please call to schedule a consultation at 407-207-1902.

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