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Shawna and James

Divorce Question

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First off, if this is the wrong place, I'm sorry!  

 

I am a green card holder.  I came to the US on a CR-1 visa and my husband and I have been married almost 8 years.  We are divorcing and agree on most of the division of assets, but he is refusing support.  I go to school 30 hours a week and working part time. Some months I'm lucky to bring home $400 because I'm a manicurist and my work is commission based.  Clearly I cannot support myself.  I know he is legally obligated to support me at 125% of the poverty line until I've worked 40 quarters or become a citizen. My question is, how can I go about enforcing this?  One divorce lawyer I talked to said it has nothing to do with the divorce and that I would have to address that separately?  Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks. 

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If I am not mistaken, his agreement to support you is between him and the government.  He is not obligated to support you at 125% of the poverty level...but of course I am not an expert....

Edited by missileman

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What exactly are you asking about here? Because I see two options. If your concern is due to your immigration status for removal of conditions, you can just get divorced, file for a divorce waiver and find someone else to fill your affidavit of support if you can’t show proof of income. Now, if you are not talking about immigration status, and you’re just talking about how you’re gonna live because you don’t make enough and you are seeking alimony from this divorce then that’s something that you and your husband have to agree with (with or without lawyers, depending on how amicable your divorce is). I don’t really know the law on that aspect, so you’re better off consulting with your lawyer, but one thing has nothing to do with the other though, if you’re talking about the latter case. Your immigration status has nothing to do with if your husband will provide alimony to you or not. Immigration wise he was only responsible to financially supporting you when you are together. He can withdraw his immigration connection to you any time he pleases, but he can’t kick you out in case you were wondering, I’m only referring financially. I hope what I just said makes sense. 

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Your first recourse for maintenance would be in divorce court. Suing for support under the I-864 is possible in some circumstances, but difficult. Alimony/maintenance after 8 years is likely going to put you over the 125% level anyway.

 

51 minutes ago, Shawna and James said:

I know he is legally obligated to support me at 125% of the poverty line until I've worked 40 quarters or become a citizen

Not exactly. The exact wording is "Has worked, or can receive credit for, 40 quarters of coverage under the Social Security Act". Note that in some circumstances, you can claim his quarters of coverage. The specifics on this can get complicated, though.

Edited by geowrian

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43 minutes ago, Shawna and James said:

I know he is legally obligated to support me at 125% of the poverty line until I've worked 40 quarters or become a citizen.

The 40 quarters can also include your spouse's quarters worked since you were married. See I-864 instructions, p. 12:

https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-864instr.pdf

Quote

How Long Does My Obligation as a Sponsor Continue?
Your obligation to support the immigrants you are sponsoring in this affidavit of support will continue until the sponsored immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen, or can be credited with 40 qualifying quarters of work in the United States.
Although 40 qualifying quarters of work (credits) generally equates to 10 years of work, in certain cases the work of a spouse or parent adds qualifying quarters.  The Social Security Administration can provide information on how to count qualifying quarters (credits) of work.
The obligation also ends if you or the sponsored immigrant dies or if the sponsored immigrant ceases to be a lawful permanent resident.  Divorce does not end the sponsorship obligation.

So the obligation may be fulfilled in less than ten years.

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Exactly.

 

Some more info on this: http://content.dcf.ks.gov/EES/KEESM/Appendix/A-8_GUIDANCE_ON_40_QUALIFYING_QUARTERS10-99.pdf

"Q: In trying to determine whether or not the members of an applicant household have sufficient quarters, should the number of years and quarters reported for each person be added and can the same quarters be credited for all noncitizens? For example, a husband and wife and two minor children, all of whom are immigrants, apply for benefits. They have all been living together in the U.S. for 5 years. The husband and wife each worked 20 quarters.

A: Each spouse can claim the quarters worked by the other spouse and the children can claim the quarters worked by their parents. In the example given, each of the 4 people would have 40 quarters"

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39 minutes ago, missileman said:

If I am not mistaken, his agreement to support you is between him and the government.  He is not obligated to support you at 125% of the poverty level...but of course I am not an expert....

I though it was only if she uses government's means-tested benefits too, but here is what I found from a law group's page: https://wilsonlg.com/blog/divorce-does-it-terminate-affidavits-support

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1 minute ago, N-o-l-a said:

 

They do have a signature indicating that they POEed for a CR1 in July of 2011.

Sorry, 6 1/2 years here so say 28 quarters, for some reason I thought you had to be married for 10 years but now I think about it this was for SS benefit.

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6 minutes ago, deepfineleg said:

 If you are concern about ROC on your greencard, you can file on your merit.

 

OP removed conditions on their greencard over 4 years ago, I don't think this will be a concern.

 

I agree about taking less classes.  Many years ago I had a professor had sat me down and had a straight talk with me about this and I've held to the advice since.  He said there is no shame in taking one class at a time if you need to work to fund your studies, better to do that than not be able to keep up with your workload or go into tremendous amounts of debt for it.  

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He doesn't have to support you per se as in subsidizing your cost of living, but if you manage to draw any welfare or govt assistance before naturalization, then he is on the hook to pay the state those monies back.

Edited by sparkles_

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1 minute ago, sparkles_ said:

He doesn't have to support you per se, but if you manage to draw any welfare or govt assistance before naturalization, then he is on the hook to pay the state those monies back.

Seems to be a very rare situation however in this case it also seem the I 864 has passed.

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