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If marriage to foreign national fails, divorce legal issues begin

There have been many accounts of people marrying foreign-born spouses in order to help them gain lawful entry to America. While there have been many legitimate cases where two people from different nations marry out of pure motives, there are doubtless many more stories based on fraudulent attempts to obtain a temporary visa. The trouble starts when the marriage hits the rocks and then real divorce legal issues begin. New York is a major center of multiculturalism and as a result there may be many couples preparing for the complexities of divorce from a foreign-born spouse.

When one decides to embark on a matrimonial journey with a spouse who is not a legal resident of the United States, there may be many issues that one is not aware exist. Once officials have been reassured that the marriage was entered into with lawful intentions, the new spouse will be issued a provisional permanent resident visa. After 24 months, the spouse is granted permanent residency. There is a catch, however.

When a person seeks to marry a foreign national, he or she is the official sponsor and is required to file documents attesting to financial responsibility for the new spouse. This means that, even in the event of a dissolution of the marriage, the sponsor can be sued by the federal government for any government support monies paid to the former spouse or dependents. One measure that may help protect one financially is to insist that both parties agree to a prenuptial contract.

The end of a marriage is an emotionally taxing experience for any couple to endure. For those who are also struggling with the added stress of immigration matters, the divorce legal issues may be overwhelming. New York spouses may benefit from the guidance provided by experienced professionals who can provide updated information that may enable them to disentangle themselves as painlessly as possible.

Source: Forbes, "Immigration And Marriage: What Happens If You Marry Or Divorce A Foreign Spouse?", Andy J. Semotiuk, Nov. 17, 2014

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