What Should I Know if I’m Divorcing a Non-Citizen Spouse?

stressed man boxes in car

With over seven billion people in the world, it’s not surprising that the person you marry is from a different country. However, despite an estimated 50% of marriages ending in divorce, it could still come as a shock when you and your spouse decide divorce is in your best interest. As if this process wasn’t stressful enough, the fact that you have a non-citizen spouse can cause additional concerns regarding the steps you must take. As such, it’s essential to continue reading to learn about these circumstances and how a Los Angeles divorce attorney can help guide you through the additional complexities of this matter.

What Challenges Come With Divorcing a Non-Citizen Spouse?

If you are a citizen and your spouse is not, generally, the divorce will be more complex for the foreign-born spouse. This is because a divorce within two years of the marriage can impact their residency status. However, your spouse can file a waiver claiming your marriage was in good faith. You will also be required to sign this document for it to be accepted.

Additionally, your spouse may not be able to take their citizenship exam if you divorce. This is because those who received their green card through marriage must wait three years to take the exam, and if you divorce, this will increase to a five-year waiting period.

While there are additional challenges for the non-citizen spouse, there are issues that will also impact you. For example, under the Hague Conference, you and your spouse can choose which country’s laws you follow for property division. If you are a United States Citizen and your spouse is not, you must choose which laws you adhere to. However, if your spouse is not a citizen of a Hage organization country, this can pose additional challenges.

You should also note that upon your spouse’s application to enter the country to marry you, you likely signed a Form I-864 Affidavit of Support. Essentially, you confirm that you can help support your non-citizen spouse. As such, you could likely be ordered to provide support payments following the divorce.

How Can a California Lawyer Help Me?

As you can see, there are many considerations you must make if your spouse is not a citizen. Unfortunately, divorce can be incredibly complex even when both spouses were born in the United States, so it’s imperative to connect with an experienced attorney to discuss your legal options.

At the Zitser Family Law Group, we understand how complex these matters can be. That’s why our team is dedicated to helping guide you through this process to ensure you receive e the best possible outcome. Contact us today to discuss the circumstances of your divorce to learn how we can assist you.

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