Divorce When One Spouse Is From A Foreign Country

divorce foreign countryBy Anna Ciardi

Cordell & Cordell Divorce Lawyer

An often confusing divorce process can become more complex when one spouse is from a foreign country and not a United States citizen.

It is common for the United States spouse to sponsor the immigration application of the non-resident spouse. This can cause complications when doing through the divorce process, and this situation typically places additional requirements on the immigrating spouse.

If you find yourself in this situation, you should work with both an experienced domestic relations attorney as well as a qualified immigration attorney.

Residency Status

When a non-resident marries a U.S. citizen, the non-resident spouse is typically granted conditional permanent residency status. This essentially gives the non-resident spouse a two-year conditional residency during the marriage.

If the parties are married for two years and still desire to remain married they can together petition Immigration and Naturalization Services in hopes that the foreign spouse will be awarded full U.S. citizenship.

If the parties are married less than two years, then the immigrant spouse will only be granted this conditional permanent residence status, which is not equivalent to full U.S. citizenship.

If a divorce between a U.S. citizen and a foreign spouse is granted prior to the two-year conditional residency period expiring, and the foreign spouse desires to continue their path toward obtaining U.S. citizenship, the foreign spouse has to apply for a termination waiver.

The waiver needs to show that the marriage was entered into in good faith, and not just for the purposes of securing U.S. citizenship for the foreign spouse. Some examples that prove the marriage was entered into in good faith include children being born of the marriage or that the parties jointly held property together during the marriage.

The foreign spouse could also apply for a termination waiver on the grounds that the U.S. citizen spouse abused them or that they would suffer significant hardships should they be deported.

This waiver is intended to be signed jointly by both parties, however, this can be difficult when going through a divorce.

Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.

If the foreign spouse is unable to obtain the signature of the resident spouse, then they can still apply for the waiver, but they have to be able to show that they entered the marriage in good faith.

This can be difficult to prove and often results in the foreign spouse continuing under conditional residency status and having to file additional paperwork in order to maintain their residency status.

Affidavit of Support

A U.S. citizen that is marrying a foreign spouse and sponsoring their immigration application will have to sign an Affidavit of Support.

It is important to note that this obligation to provide support to the foreign spouse will not simply terminate upon divorce. Any amount of support owed will depend upon the income and overall financial situation of the foreign spouse.

If a foreign spouse has already achieved U.S. citizenship and is then going through a divorce, their citizenship will not be revoked as a result of a divorce at this point.

Where the foreign spouse is in the immigration process both at the time of the marriage and at the time of an impending divorce can greatly influence the immigration process of the foreign spouse.

When confronted with this situation it is important to work with both an immigration attorney and a men’s divorce lawyer, such as the family law attorneys at Cordell & Cordell.

Pittsburgh divorce lawyer Anna CiardiTo arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pittsburgh Divorce Lawyer Anna M. Ciardi, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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19 comments on “Divorce When One Spouse Is From A Foreign Country

    Hello, i am a non us citizen and not never came in the USA before my husband got married to Morroco lady that was before our marriage but the lady has never gone to USA before because there marriage didn’t go well during the process of filling paperwork for her to go with him in the USA. Now my husband has applied for a petting for me to be with him in the USA. Do i have any hope am worried but i didn’t know He was married before we came along thank you

    Hello,
    I have been married for less than two years to an american citizen. The divorced has been pronounced over 8 years ago.
    And I was wondering if you have any idea if i would need any proper paper or a specific visa to come and travel to the United States for a couple,of weeks.
    I do live and work in France since then and don’t have anything connected to your country. I just want to come and travel.
    Thanks in advance for taking in account my request.

    My husband married a German National in Germany. He got divorced in a Texas. Ex spouse came to the Texas for the divorce. 17 yrs later she is marring a German national. She found out that her marriage to my spouse was not accepted in a Germany. My question is. Am I legally married to my spouse? We got married in Texas.

    Thank you for your time.

    Hi, I have been married for 30 days and found out she married me to stay in US. She became pregnant but upon leaving to visit family in China she aborted child 2 days after arriving there. Also many other things. I did not sign any affidavit of support or visa papers, so how do I get divorce?

    I am a U.S citizen I went to Ghana in 2015 an got married every since we got married he hasn’t been the same he low rate me an we hardly ever talk to each other also I have met his family an he haven’t tried to make a effort to come to the states to meet my family I want to get a divorce from him I’ve had a stroke an several seziures since we got married an he dnt show no concern in my health I have even sent him money to help him come over an he gets mad when I ask him wat did he do with the money that he was suppose to use to get his Visa to come over wat do I need to do about getting a divorce

    I found out my marriage is null and void as the man I am with who is also a US citizen is still married in the Philippines. Can he divorse his 1st wife? If yes, how long is the usual processing and waiting time until divorce be granted?

    I am married to a philippina immigrant. She has caused issues in my life for a year and a half. She is now pregnant (8weeks). I have a 13 year old child from a previous relationship. I also take care of both of my parents with disabilities. I am looking to divorce my wife. She has lived in my house for 2 years but married for three.

    I married Denmark girl for 2.5 years. So I want to make divorce because she likes another guy. My question is can I make a divorce if she doesn’t want to go to the court?

    I have a question about my marriage. I am married to a filipina. I married her in the state of nevada and she is a resident i am a u.s. citizen. We have a son he is a u.s. citizen. We are getting divorce and she threatened me for custody of my child. I need to know what are my rights

    Hi, Estrelita Omar, a filipina. I came to US to visit my sister who us married to a US citizen american. In my stay here, i fall in love to a filipino . US citizen, divorced for 10 yes, also who was my childhood friend in the Philippines. Im married in the Philippines but not happy for 20 years now. My husband had an affair 22yrs back while he was working at Dubai. Is it possible to send him a divorce paper for him to sign while im still here in US for a vacation? If yes, pls tell me how and how much will i pay for the process? Thank you

    Hi can anyone help. 14 years ago I travelled to Texas from the u.k. I’m British. I fell in love married a girl from Texas at the time. After 2 years things went bad and I came back to the UK. I’ve not seen her for 10 years now but I have my own life in the u.k and she has hers. Both of us want a no hassle divorce. We have no assets to slip or anything like that. We want it as simple as possible. Anyone who can help us?

    I’m a US permanent resident for 2 years and married to a Filipino in the Philippines. I acquired my green card through my daughter who is a US citizen. I was physically separated from him for 12 years and I want to divorce him while I’m here so he won’t get rights over my benefits or property. How and what is the process?

    I’m a US permanent resident married to a Filipino and was physically separated for 12 years. How can I possibly divorce him so I can stay single in status already so he won’t have legal rights as a beneficiary.

    I got married in the Philippines and my spouse is a US citizen by birth.He wanted divorce after 5 years of marriage.He used my credit score to get all the stufff that he need and now he wont pay the bills but his supporting another Filipina every month.I really struggled so much since i dont make so much money on the job i do and he kicked me out in the house and i live with my friends,Am i entitled to get alimony from him though were not married that long,he cheated the whole time i was married to him but he had woman and travel twice a year to Philippines to visit his girlfriend.

    I was married in a different country i had found out afterwards that my wife was cheating on me before we were married she had been deliberately sabotaging our relationship since then we have one son together i want a divorce how should i go about this

    i am US citizen i married a man who is from Germany, it is been almost one year of our marriage, i found out that he was cheating on me and use me to bring him in USA. now i a want divorce he won’t singe and asking for money if i don’t pay him he will sue me and he knows i have property in my name before marriage. in this case what should i do? is he still can get half of my sours?

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