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Adjustment of status and Divorce

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I married my wife in the end of December 2009, and the marriage is not turning out to be what either of us expected. We have talked about splitting up many times because it doesn't look like we will resolve our problems, but we do care about each other.

We have not applied for the Adjustment of Status, and she is pressuring me to file it. I have delayed filing because of our personal problems, but more so, because I haven't had enough money handy to pay the fee. Now that divorce looks like a likely reality, I'm not sure it is even practical to file it. She seems to think she will stay here and work and live with cousins and friends. She is from the Philippines but has three first cousins that live right here in the same town as us, who are married to Americans, and have lived here for years. She has a decent sized social network here that rivals my own. She always talks about getting a job, and says she will not return to the Philippines no matter what. I told her there are rules the government has about all that stuff.

She gets upset if I mention divorce, but she also admits that the marriage is not very stable. She is as unsatisfied with things as I am. She wants me to file for the AOS, but I'm hesitant because I told here if we divorce it would be worthless. Her family has even offered to pay for the filing fee.

I'm wondering if I should go ahead and file for her AOS, or just be realistic and move forward with a divorce. Furthermore, because we have waited, her K1 visa expired on March 1. But we were married on Dec. 22, 2009. She is worried she is in violation. I think she's OK, as long as she's married to me.

Thanks for your help in advance; my world has bee turned upside down lately and I need some advice if you have any experience in these matters.


William C.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
Timeline

I married my wife in the end of December 2009, and the marriage is not turning out to be what either of us expected. We have talked about splitting up many times because it doesn't look like we will resolve our problems, but we do care about each other.

We have not applied for the Adjustment of Status, and she is pressuring me to file it. I have delayed filing because of our personal problems, but more so, because I haven't had enough money handy to pay the fee. Now that divorce looks like a likely reality, I'm not sure it is even practical to file it. She seems to think she will stay here and work and live with cousins and friends. She is from the Philippines but has three first cousins that live right here in the same town as us, who are married to Americans, and have lived here for years. She has a decent sized social network here that rivals my own. She always talks about getting a job, and says she will not return to the Philippines no matter what. I told her there are rules the government has about all that stuff.

She gets upset if I mention divorce, but she also admits that the marriage is not very stable. She is as unsatisfied with things as I am. She wants me to file for the AOS, but I'm hesitant because I told here if we divorce it would be worthless. Her family has even offered to pay for the filing fee.

I'm wondering if I should go ahead and file for her AOS, or just be realistic and move forward with a divorce. Furthermore, because we have waited, her K1 visa expired on March 1. But we were married on Dec. 22, 2009. She is worried she is in violation. I think she's OK, as long as she's married to me.

Thanks for your help in advance; my world has bee turned upside down lately and I need some advice if you have any experience in these matters.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
Timeline

It's been a long time since I've stopped to make a reply to the many difficult and interesting posts. This one caught my eye because I can relate. My wife is Pinay and our marriage was to say the least very "rocky." Once she started living with me she did a 180 from the giggly, endearing, young woman I visited three times in the Philippines. However, it took me many months to begin to understand many of the emotional reasons behind her change. The transition from her life to American life is to say the least a very difficult one. We also talked about the many options for her to stay here if we broke up. Out of mercy I thought to file the AOS and ASAP figure where she could go. SHe had no friends or family here so that was a hard if not impossible alternative. I'm thankful to say that eventually she did calm down and we are getting along. I think most couples go through this peroid of adjustment? If you wanted to be a humanitarian you could file the AOS and just go along with the status quo. YEs, it looks like a Green Card marriage but if you can hang in there she could eventually file for asylum and stay that way and you can get divorced. The trick is to convince the USCIS that the marriage was legit. It's a difficult decision I understand - I was there - but if you can help her to stay you'll be hero.

Good luck

Arlo in Minnesota

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Filed: Other Country: China
Timeline

I married my wife in the end of December 2009, and the marriage is not turning out to be what either of us expected. We have talked about splitting up many times because it doesn't look like we will resolve our problems, but we do care about each other.

We have not applied for the Adjustment of Status, and she is pressuring me to file it. I have delayed filing because of our personal problems, but more so, because I haven't had enough money handy to pay the fee. Now that divorce looks like a likely reality, I'm not sure it is even practical to file it. She seems to think she will stay here and work and live with cousins and friends. She is from the Philippines but has three first cousins that live right here in the same town as us, who are married to Americans, and have lived here for years. She has a decent sized social network here that rivals my own. She always talks about getting a job, and says she will not return to the Philippines no matter what. I told her there are rules the government has about all that stuff.

She gets upset if I mention divorce, but she also admits that the marriage is not very stable. She is as unsatisfied with things as I am. She wants me to file for the AOS, but I'm hesitant because I told here if we divorce it would be worthless. Her family has even offered to pay for the filing fee.

I'm wondering if I should go ahead and file for her AOS, or just be realistic and move forward with a divorce. Furthermore, because we have waited, her K1 visa expired on March 1. But we were married on Dec. 22, 2009. She is worried she is in violation. I think she's OK, as long as she's married to me.

Thanks for your help in advance; my world has bee turned upside down lately and I need some advice if you have any experience in these matters.

If you file and complete AOS, and then later divorce, it is NOT worthless. She can remove conditions on her own immediately after divorce, provided she can show she entered the marriage in good faith. Shouldn't be a problem as you indicate she did.

However, to complete AOS, you will need to sign an I-864. Read and research it carefully before deciding.


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It's been a long time since I've stopped to make a reply to the many difficult and interesting posts. This one caught my eye because I can relate. My wife is Pinay and our marriage was to say the least very "rocky." Once she started living with me she did a 180 from the giggly, endearing, young woman I visited three times in the Philippines. However, it took me many months to begin to understand many of the emotional reasons behind her change. The transition from her life to American life is to say the least a very difficult one. We also talked about the many options for her to stay here if we broke up. Out of mercy I thought to file the AOS and ASAP figure where she could go. SHe had no friends or family here so that was a hard if not impossible alternative. I'm thankful to say that eventually she did calm down and we are getting along. I think most couples go through this peroid of adjustment? If you wanted to be a humanitarian you could file the AOS and just go along with the status quo. YEs, it looks like a Green Card marriage but if you can hang in there she could eventually file for asylum and stay that way and you can get divorced. The trick is to convince the USCIS that the marriage was legit. It's a difficult decision I understand - I was there - but if you can help her to stay you'll be hero.

Good luck

Arlo in Minnesota

Arlo is correct ,you have to understand that she has a sudden change of environment, she needs your understanding the most during this time, she will eventually get over this , many has experienced this kindof situation but eventually get over it, divorce is not always the answer, it makes life more miserable, and to think that you are just less than 4 months married. She is just feeling insecured, trying oneself to fit in a new environment and to adjust as quickly as you can is something hard to do, give yourselves time.

Edited by oliver-chris

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Cyprus
Timeline

If you file and complete AOS, and then later divorce, it is NOT worthless. She can remove conditions on her own immediately after divorce, provided she can show she entered the marriage in good faith. Shouldn't be a problem as you indicate she did.

However, to complete AOS, you will need to sign an I-864. Read and research it carefully before deciding.

Yes, bear in mind that divorce will not terminate your obligation for financial support under I-864. Sorry to hear about your situation. Good luck.


August, 1999 - Entered the US as F-1

May 21, 2004 - Started dating my now husband

Feb 21, 2010 - Got married!

March 29, 2010 - AOS, EAD, AP package sent

March 30, 2010 - Package received

April 7, 2010 - I-130 & I-485 checks cashed

April 12, 2010 - Received NOA for I-130, I-485, I-765, and I-131

April 16, 2010 - Received Biometrics appointment notice (for May 3rd)

April 19, 2010 - Biometrics taken (early walk-in)

April 19, 2010 - I485, I765 updated

April 20, 2010 - I485, I765 updated

April 21, 2010 - I130, I765, I131 updated

May 3, 2010 - Received Interview notice for June 8 (notice dated April 29)!

June 8, 2010 - AOS Interview (Approved)!

June 28, 2010 - Received green card!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Australia
Timeline

I married my wife in the end of December 2009, and the marriage is not turning out to be what either of us expected. We have talked about splitting up many times because it doesn't look like we will resolve our problems, but we do care about each other.

We have not applied for the Adjustment of Status, and she is pressuring me to file it. I have delayed filing because of our personal problems, but more so, because I haven't had enough money handy to pay the fee. Now that divorce looks like a likely reality, I'm not sure it is even practical to file it. She seems to think she will stay here and work and live with cousins and friends. She is from the Philippines but has three first cousins that live right here in the same town as us, who are married to Americans, and have lived here for years. She has a decent sized social network here that rivals my own. She always talks about getting a job, and says she will not return to the Philippines no matter what. I told her there are rules the government has about all that stuff.

She gets upset if I mention divorce, but she also admits that the marriage is not very stable. She is as unsatisfied with things as I am. She wants me to file for the AOS, but I'm hesitant because I told here if we divorce it would be worthless. Her family has even offered to pay for the filing fee.

I'm wondering if I should go ahead and file for her AOS, or just be realistic and move forward with a divorce. Furthermore, because we have waited, her K1 visa expired on March 1. But we were married on Dec. 22, 2009. She is worried she is in violation. I think she's OK, as long as she's married to me.

Thanks for your help in advance; my world has bee turned upside down lately and I need some advice if you have any experience in these matters.

Personally while I've had issues adjusting sometimes (feeling emotional, bored, lonely) I have never taken those things out on my husband or our relationship. He understands I get frustrated sometimes. I do not believe that "most couples go through" what your wife is doing... that said that I knew my husband VERY well and never kept my emotions/feelings etc from him. He too knows me very well and "what I'm about".

I do not believe your wife is having trouble adjusting. I believe that with her (many) friends and cousins around she is more than adequately supported emotionally. She has people to talk to. People who've gone through the same thing. That speak her language and understand the differences between here and "home". I believe that she is two-faced and is using you for a visa/greencard. I believe that she didn't realise what she was getting into and is now realising how hard it is. I think she hoped to have it before now and that you wouldn't have seen this side of her had she got the GC immediately, you would have seen her back instead.

Aside from that (because I could be wrong about the above because I'm just going from emotions and descriptions in your post), AOS is not something to be taken lightly. If they pay the filing fee, that allows you to file, it does not take care of the I-864. Even if they offered to be joint-sponsors YOU are still liable as the first sponsor, more-so than they are. You are responsible until she leaves the US and gives up her greencard, if she dies, if she becomes a USC or if she works 40 quarters (typically around 10 years sometimes more, sometimes less, but not much less).

If you are not sure, you're not sure and you should not rush it. As long as you married her in the 90 days her status is relatively safe (she fulfilled the requirements of the visa) but she still needs to file AOS as she can still be picked up by ICE officers.. not typically deported (I've never read a case of it, they just get told to file AOS) but the chance is always there (however minuscule). She is not 100% safe. she cannot get a drivers licence, she cannot get a job.

I think you need to ask yourself how you would feel supporting her while she lives in the US, IF she decides to leave you once the GC has been received. I suspect if you told her that you want a divorce that she will leave and hide out in the US. Would you report her? You need to consider sending her home without filing AOS and how you would feel if you no longer were together. If you take marriage out of the equation for a second and consider this a bf/gf relationship gone wrong, would your normally be okay with supporting your ex-gf for the next 10 years? Once you file that AOS you have no choice. If you decide to get married another time to another foreigner(bad to think about now but as an example) you would need to declare that you are sponsoring another I-864. That means you would need to have a household income level INCLUDING your ex-wife in the equation. It's a big obligation. Not to mention that you would be subjected to more scrutiny in that your previous marriage would look like a greencard marriage given it's duration and your attempt at another wife/fiancee "importation" (for example).

Best of luck with your decision.

Edited by Vanessa&Tony

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Filed: Other Timeline

It's marriage..you get from slow to extreme fighting even you know each other for long period of time. I personally agree with the OP said. However, you can follow your instinct.

In relationship, there's no master and slave.

Edited by Fresgal

Life is not a granting factory, according to my colleague.

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Personally while I've had issues adjusting sometimes (feeling emotional, bored, lonely) I have never taken those things out on my husband or our relationship. He understands I get frustrated sometimes. I do not believe that "most couples go through" what your wife is doing... that said that I knew my husband VERY well and never kept my emotions/feelings etc from him. He too knows me very well and "what I'm about".

I do not believe your wife is having trouble adjusting. I believe that with her (many) friends and cousins around she is more than adequately supported emotionally. She has people to talk to. People who've gone through the same thing. That speak her language and understand the differences between here and "home". I believe that she is two-faced and is using you for a visa/greencard. I believe that she didn't realise what she was getting into and is now realising how hard it is. I think she hoped to have it before now and that you wouldn't have seen this side of her had she got the GC immediately, you would have seen her back instead.

Aside from that (because I could be wrong about the above because I'm just going from emotions and descriptions in your post), AOS is not something to be taken lightly. If they pay the filing fee, that allows you to file, it does not take care of the I-864. Even if they offered to be joint-sponsors YOU are still liable as the first sponsor, more-so than they are. You are responsible until she leaves the US and gives up her greencard, if she dies, if she becomes a USC or if she works 40 quarters (typically around 10 years sometimes more, sometimes less, but not much less).

If you are not sure, you're not sure and you should not rush it. As long as you married her in the 90 days her status is relatively safe (she fulfilled the requirements of the visa) but she still needs to file AOS as she can still be picked up by ICE officers.. not typically deported (I've never read a case of it, they just get told to file AOS) but the chance is always there (however minuscule). She is not 100% safe. she cannot get a drivers licence, she cannot get a job.

I think you need to ask yourself how you would feel supporting her while she lives in the US, IF she decides to leave you once the GC has been received. I suspect if you told her that you want a divorce that she will leave and hide out in the US. Would you report her? You need to consider sending her home without filing AOS and how you would feel if you no longer were together. If you take marriage out of the equation for a second and consider this a bf/gf relationship gone wrong, would your normally be okay with supporting your ex-gf for the next 10 years? Once you file that AOS you have no choice. If you decide to get married another time to another foreigner(bad to think about now but as an example) you would need to declare that you are sponsoring another I-864. That means you would need to have a household income level INCLUDING your ex-wife in the equation. It's a big obligation. Not to mention that you would be subjected to more scrutiny in that your previous marriage would look like a greencard marriage given it's duration and your attempt at another wife/fiancee "importation" (for example).

Best of luck with your decision.

you make the most sense out of everyone here.


41Ihm7.png

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
Timeline

Based solely on the information that you have provided, I would say that the green card was a large factor in your relationship. I am not saying that it is the only thing, but it looks like it plays a big part.

Although it is not uncommon for a Filipino to have many first cousins, it is highly suspicious that 3 of your wife's live in the same town as you. Secondly, the fact that they are willing to pay the not insignificant AoS fee indicates something to me.

If I were in your shoes, what I would do would depend solely on my feelings for the woman. I entertained the possibility that my wife was mainly after a green card. Even though none of the evidence indicated that. How could I not have some doubts? Almost all of my friends, and quite a few complete strangers told me that of course it was all about a green card. I decided that I loved my wife, and that even if after she came here, things didn't work out, that I was going to marry her and adjust her status anyway. I reasoned that I loved her, and as much as I wanted to spend my life with her, if I couldn't, I would still be willing to help make her life better.

I didn't have to face the reality of finding out. We are doing fine. But you need to dig deep and ask yourself. Do you love this woman enough to help her in life. Even if you are not getting along so great as a couple right now. If you love her, you might find that with a little bit of security and room, she will be drawn to the good man that you obviously are.

I wouldn't worry too much about the affidavit of support. She sounds like her main goal here in the USA is to work anyway. Being on government assistance is not going to provide enough money to send back home.

Follow your heart on this one. Ingats!

Disclaimer: This is my opinion only. I don't have all the facts. Your mileage may vary. Void where prohibited by law.


donald -n- analyn

For Filipino events on the Space Coast, see our organization's web site.

2006-09-21 :: met online

2007-05-23 :: first met in Philippines

2009-03-22 :: welcome to USA, POE Detroit!!!

2009-06-13 :: married in Florida!!!

2010-03-18 :: AoS approved, no interview :-)

See our timeline for the riveting details! Good luck on YOUR journey!

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Very interesting case.

As posted above - you have limited options, but at my first read through of your post, "GC fraud" popped up. I also find it strange she has three family members in the same town, married to USC's, toss in that her family will pay the filing fee since your thinking of divorce prior to the AOS, my warning bells start to ring (I have seen this pattern in other similar cases of fraud).

Not knowing how you meet, etc., I cannot make a clear reading on it - but you have to make your own decisions.

Again, as pointed out above - you will still be on the hook for the 864 if you follow through with the AOS, however, since her family is willing to pay you, I doubt that would be in play.

You will also have to consider the state your in, divorce may cost more than you think.

Choose wisely.


My Advice is usually based on "Worst Case Scenario" and what is written in the rules/laws/instructions. That is the way I roll... -Protect your Status - file before your I-94 expires.

WARNING: Phrases in this post may sound meaner than they were intended to be. Read the Adjudicator's Field Manual from USCIS

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Scotland
Timeline

The first part of this post that absolutely boggles my mind is getting married with the money for the AOS. Did you not know you were going to have to pay another $1,000+ after you were married? As your wife, she SHOULD be expecting it because it is part of the process and part of what you agreed to do when you brought her here saying you would support her.

Now, this is my opinion based off of the information you provided above.

I think she is trying to use you for a GC.

If you are willing to share more of what you're arguing about, or more of why you aren't getting along, then it would be easier to tell if she is having a hard time adjusting or if she is using you. Furthermore, part of her attitude could very well be because she expected you to AOS her, and you haven't yet. Maybe she is paranoid you aren't going to do it and acting out because of it. Maybe you don't want to file it because you met one of her first cousins and suddenly they are looking pretty hot to you...lol ;) We don't know.

I'm divorced. I can tell you this. The first 4-5 months I was married we fought about who was going to cook, clean, pay bills, mow the yard, and many other things. These are adjustments you make when you live together. If this is the first marriage for the both of you, I would honestly say, you need to sit down and TALK about it. Find out what is different, find out if you can work it out and go from there.

Marriages ARE WORK, and anyone who says different is full of it. They aren't always all cute and fun. If you two can't put in the WORK it takes to keep it together, then throw in the towel. If you also can't have to cute and fun moments together, and ALL it becomes is work....is it worth it? That's up to you.


"You don't marry someone you can live with, you marry the person you can't live without."

Mailed K-1 on 2-6-10

USCIS received packet on 2-8-10

NOA 1: Received 2-16-10

NOA 2: Approved 4-29-10 (72 Days)

NVC Forwarded Petition to London- 5-6-10

NVC Letter Received: 5-7-1010

London Received Packet: 5-14-10

London Mailed Packet to Rob: 5-18-10

Packet 3 Received by Rob: 5-22-2010

Packet 3 paperwork mailed to Rob 6-12-10

Medical- July 8, 2010

Everything mailed to Embassy 7-19-10

Interview Date: 9-14-10- Approved pending non-machine washed replacement passport.

Entry to US- 10-6-10 POE- Newark

Wedding- 10-23-10

AOS

Mailed AOS paperwork to the Chicago lockbox 1-7-11

Delivery Notification 1-10-11

Text stating application was received 1-20-11

Check Cashed 1-21-11

NOA 1 received 1-22-11

Biometrics letter received 1-29--11

Biometrics appointment 2-24-11

Received notice- I-485 has been transferred to the California Service Center 2-9-11.

3-11-11 - EAD production ordered

3-19-11- EAD Received

3-31-2011- AOS approved without interview

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Filed: Country: Mexico
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This has nothing to do with "culture"...i personally feel...that this is about her personal gain...its about love...not about culture....and 3 cousins...same town...all willing to help her out.....

Why haven't they helped you's out in advice with your marriage?...

Well...if your willing to file AOS for her..and have her do a runner straight away...then thats you...

Protect yourself against VAWA accusations as well...especially if your not willing to go further in the process because you could see yet another uglier side to her...

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I have experienced much of the rocky times you describe even though I have no doubts of my wife's love for me.

I was single (divorced) for 10 years and she was never married. Her arrival here was a big change (to say the least) for both of us.

We are still learning how to read each other and understand what isn't being said as much as what is really meant by any of it.

The things that would raise my alert are: so much family IN THE SAME TOWN & their willingness to pay for the AOS fees.

Personally, I think filing AOS knowing that the marriage is falling apart is a sticky wicket.

On one hand, if you believe she entered the relationship & marriage in good faith and want to spend a year trying to fix it then go for it.

On the other hand, if you're sure it's a done deal then why would you sign documents that tie you to her for up to 10 years.

You always have the option of holding off on the AOS for a few more months but that does create potential problems also. Technically she'd be out of status and if she hit the 180 day mark then any future Immigration would have to contend with a 3 yr entry ban. If you split and she says she can't AOS if she gets remarried without leaving the US (at which time the entry ban would be effective).

The best advice is talk talk talk to her and in the end follow both your heart and brain (but the brain has 2/3s veto authority)...

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