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  1. 1. Should I get a divorce NOW?



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Filed: Country: Brazil
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I'm trying to decide if I should get a divorce or wait it out...

The story is that I am on conditional permanent residence after marrrying a US Citizen in good faith. I'll have to file the I-751 this July before my card expires in November. I've been completely miserable because this marriage has been falling apart, it feels unbearable- so I'm considering filing for divorce, even though I only have 6 months left until I file. Just to make things clear, I'm not in a physically abusive relationship, but very emotionally degrading. If I got a divorce, I would be in a very tough financial situation since I would lose my job (I work for his parents), have no savings, and no friends/family around me that can help.

If I decided to wait until after we file a joint I-751, how soon can I file for divorce? Let's say I send my application in July, it takes them 30 days to review it right? So let's say I get approved 30 days after, can I file for divorce then? Or do I have to wait until after my card officially expires? As you can see, I'm pretty desperate to get out, but I have to do what's best for me right now (I've given everything to this marriage), and getting a divorce with no money and no way to hire any attorneys seems almost impossible.

Also, I've been living here since I was 10 yrs. old- getting deported would be very tragic. I love my husband still after everything, but he's pushed me to my limits. Any help would be really appreciated.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Russia
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If you are sure that you want a divorce and the only question is when -

you should do it right away. Filing joint petition to remove conditions when you know well that you are only waiting to get out of marriage - is too close to fraud and may cause you trouble later.

You may want to gather the evidence for I-751 filing BEFORE you announce to your husband that you want a divorce, because he may make it difficult for you out of revenge.

Beware that depending on your state laws you may need to go through a period of separation before you can obtain divorce. So look up those divorce rules too.

You can file waiver I-751 without a lawyer. You can file for divorce without a lawyer if there will be no dispute about property and children's custody. If your husband wants a lawyer, then you better get one, too.


CR-1 Timeline

March'07 NOA1 date, case transferred to CSC

June'07 NOA2 per USCIS website!

Waiver I-751 timeline

July'09 Check cashed.

Jan'10 10 year GC received.

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Filed: Other Timeline

Rika is correct: if you are set on divorcing your spouse, you cannot legally file jointly anymore. I would also advice you to file for divorce now and to submit the I-751 as late as possible in order to buy time.

Once you are divorced, you can file right away, even before the 90-day window opens (and are actually required to do so). If you are not divorced by the time the 90-day window opens, file as late as 7 days before your card expires. Do not file late, not even if you are not divorced by the time your card expires.


There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all . . . . The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic . . . . There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.

President Teddy Roosevelt on Columbus Day 1915

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Filed: Country: Brazil
Timeline

Thank you all for your comments. I def. don't want to commit any fraud! My husband is completely aware of everything, I'm just trying to get informed.

So it looks like either way it's going to be a lot of work and money. That is good to know because now I can put my immigration worries aside and focus on the real issues of my marriage. When I had spoken to an immigration attorney yesterday, he made it souns like I couldn't do this without him; he was one expensive lawyer...

I do have another question though. If I file for divorce now, and it's still pending when it comes time to apply for the I-751, should I apply as a single person even though I would still be technically married? My marriage was a covenant marriage and it might take a while until the court allows us to divorce.

Thank you again for your advice.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Brazil
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Thank you all for your comments. I def. don't want to commit any fraud! My husband is completely aware of everything, I'm just trying to get informed.

So it looks like either way it's going to be a lot of work and money. That is good to know because now I can put my immigration worries aside and focus on the real issues of my marriage. When I had spoken to an immigration attorney yesterday, he made it souns like I couldn't do this without him; he was one expensive lawyer...

I do have another question though. If I file for divorce now, and it's still pending when it comes time to apply for the I-751, should I apply as a single person even though I would still be technically married? My marriage was a covenant marriage and it might take a while until the court allows us to divorce.

Thank you again for your advice.

Sorry to hear that things have not worked out for you. Have you 2 tried counseling? If your husband is aware of the situation and knows you are going to file for divorce, he is willing to wait this out? By the way, I have never seen a "cheap" lawyer. I wish you the best of luck, again I am sorry to hear of this situation.


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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
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Thank you all for your comments. I def. don't want to commit any fraud! My husband is completely aware of everything, I'm just trying to get informed.

So it looks like either way it's going to be a lot of work and money. That is good to know because now I can put my immigration worries aside and focus on the real issues of my marriage. When I had spoken to an immigration attorney yesterday, he made it souns like I couldn't do this without him; he was one expensive lawyer...

I do have another question though. If I file for divorce now, and it's still pending when it comes time to apply for the I-751, should I apply as a single person even though I would still be technically married? My marriage was a covenant marriage and it might take a while until the court allows us to divorce.

Thank you again for your advice.

What grounds for divorce are permitted under your legal covenant contract?

You won't be applying as a "single person". You'll be asking for a waiver of the requirement that you file jointly with your husband. The grounds for your waiver request is going to be that your marriage ended in divorce. There's a check box on the I-751 specifically for this. You'll need to provide evidence that you entered the marriage in good faith, and that your marriage actually did end in divorce - this means a divorce decree. You can still file if your divorce is pending, but you don't have the divorce decree yet. USCIS policy is to issue an RFE for the divorce decree when they get around to adjudicating your I-751, which will probably be several months after you file. You'll have 12 weeks to respond to the RFE. If you still haven't got a divorce decree then you'll be placed in removal proceedings. When you have your master hearing in front of the immigration judge you can ask for a stay while your divorce is being wrapped up. The judge will almost always grant the stay.

Whatever you do, do NOT postpone filing the I-751 just because you don't have the divorce decree yet. Your permanent residency will be terminated, and you'll be placed in removal proceedings.


12/15/2009 - K1 Visa Interview - APPROVED!

12/29/2009 - Married in Oakland, CA!

08/18/2010 - AOS Interview - APPROVED!

05/01/2013 - Removal of Conditions - APPROVED!

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Filed: Country: Brazil
Timeline

From what everyone's saying, I thought if we waited this out it would be considered fraud? We've tried counseling, it didn't work in the past, but we might give it one more try. I don't want to abruptly get a divorce right now just because my card is expiring soon and if we're going to get a divorce I've been advised to do it right away for time sake. In our religion divorce is very serious, and I wish I had more time to really think this through.

What I'm trying to say is let's say I take a few months to decide if I want a divorce and finally decide in June, IF my husband refuses for a divorce the laws in AZ say that according to covenant marriages, we would need to be seperated for at least 1 yr (since none of the other terms apply) before the state allows us a divorce.

A covenant marriage is more difficult to dissolve than a 'regular' marriage. A court can only grant a divorce to a couple for one of these eight reasons:

1.A spouse commits adultery.

2.A spouse commits a felony and has been sentenced to death or imprisonment.

3.A spouse has abandoned the other for at least one year before the filing for divorce, and refuses to return.

4.A spouse has physically or sexually abused the other, a child, a relative of either spouse permanently living with them, or has committed domestic violence emotional abuse.

5.The spouses have been living separate and apart continuously without reconciliation for at least two years before the filing for divorce.

6.The spouses have been living separate and apart continuously without reconciliation for at least one year from the date of a legal separation**

7.A spouse has habitually abused drugs or alcohol.

8.The husband and wife both agree to a dissolution of marriage.

My attorney said to not wait, make a decision now. But I don't know if I can make such an important decision so fast.

Sorry this is all so confusing, I really appreciate those taking the time to help me out. It means a lot!

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
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Ok, this a quandary many others have faced. You're caught between a rock and hard place. While your immigration status should not be factor in deciding whether and when to divorce, your divorce is most definitely a factor in deciding your future immigration status, and you don't have the luxury of deciding WHEN you should resolve your immigration status. You have a deadline coming up, and you must file an I-751 within that window if you want to keep your green card.

If you file the I-751 jointly with your husband, and then go into the ROC interview and admit that your marriage is headed for divorce then the ROC will be denied, and you'll be instructed to refile with a waiver request based on divorce. It appears there's no way you'll get a divorce decree in time to avoid removal proceedings. However, you can postpone being deported almost indefinitely while you wait for the divorce to be completed as long as you can persuade the immigration judge to keep giving you more time.

On the other hand, if you still love your husband and think there's any possible way your marriage can be saved, then focus on trying to save it. File a joint I-751 in the required timeframe, and just be honest with the immigration officer that your marriage is going through a rough patch but you're doing everything you can to save the marriage.

Honesty is always the best policy. Good luck.


12/15/2009 - K1 Visa Interview - APPROVED!

12/29/2009 - Married in Oakland, CA!

08/18/2010 - AOS Interview - APPROVED!

05/01/2013 - Removal of Conditions - APPROVED!

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Russia
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So if your husband agrees to divorce you, you could be divorced in a couple of weeks, right?

I think you should discuss your position between the rock and a hard place with him. If he cares for you and your future, and decides to be on your side even in case of divorce - then you still have time to try and save your marriage. Then get a quick divorce if it does not work out.

8.The husband and wife both agree to a dissolution of marriage.


CR-1 Timeline

March'07 NOA1 date, case transferred to CSC

June'07 NOA2 per USCIS website!

Waiver I-751 timeline

July'09 Check cashed.

Jan'10 10 year GC received.

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Filed: Country: Guyana
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Ok, this a quandary many others have faced. You're caught between a rock and hard place. While your immigration status should not be factor in deciding whether and when to divorce, your divorce is most definitely a factor in deciding your future immigration status, and you don't have the luxury of deciding WHEN you should resolve your immigration status. You have a deadline coming up, and you must file an I-751 within that window if you want to keep your green card.

If you file the I-751 jointly with your husband, and then go into the ROC interview and admit that your marriage is headed for divorce then the ROC will be denied, and you'll be instructed to refile with a waiver request based on divorce. It appears there's no way you'll get a divorce decree in time to avoid removal proceedings. However, you can postpone being deported almost indefinitely while you wait for the divorce to be completed as long as you can persuade the immigration judge to keep giving you more time.

On the other hand, if you still love your husband and think there's any possible way your marriage can be saved, then focus on trying to save it. File a joint I-751 in the required timeframe, and just be honest with the immigration officer that your marriage is going through a rough patch but you're doing everything you can to save the marriage.

Honesty is always the best policy. Good luck.

well my story is that my husband brought me here on CR1 visa and after 4 days,he threw me out.He is a 100% disable veteran and is bipolar and is on morphine and other strong drugs.He usually get paranoid and accuse me of either stealing or tampering with his things when this happens.I'm just wondering what are my options because he reported me to the authorities saying that I stole his phone and asked them to search for him.The came and watch as he searched for his phone.he didn't find anything.He told them that I was breaking stuffs and I damaged the room and the checked and found nothing.He got annoyed and accused me of stuffs when he was in my country,but never called the authorities there.I think its because he is in his country he is doing that.Can anyone help me here.He is considered mad because he gets his medications from the Physic clinic.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
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well my story is that my husband brought me here on CR1 visa and after 4 days,he threw me out.He is a 100% disable veteran and is bipolar and is on morphine and other strong drugs.He usually get paranoid and accuse me of either stealing or tampering with his things when this happens.I'm just wondering what are my options because he reported me to the authorities saying that I stole his phone and asked them to search for him.The came and watch as he searched for his phone.he didn't find anything.He told them that I was breaking stuffs and I damaged the room and the checked and found nothing.He got annoyed and accused me of stuffs when he was in my country,but never called the authorities there.I think its because he is in his country he is doing that.Can anyone help me here.He is considered mad because he gets his medications from the Physic clinic.

Be careful with this. A lot of people take psych medications and they're not considered "mad".

You can divorce him and then self-petition to remove conditions on your green card. His behavior will be irrelevant to USCIS, for the most part. They're going to focus on whether you entered the marriage in good faith.


12/15/2009 - K1 Visa Interview - APPROVED!

12/29/2009 - Married in Oakland, CA!

08/18/2010 - AOS Interview - APPROVED!

05/01/2013 - Removal of Conditions - APPROVED!

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Filed: Country: Guyana
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Be careful with this. A lot of people take psych medications and they're not considered "mad".

You can divorce him and then self-petition to remove conditions on your green card. His behavior will be irrelevant to USCIS, for the most part. They're going to focus on whether you entered the marriage in good faith.

well i've know him since 2006 and we always quarrel and everytime we quarrel i let his daughter know thru emails and i have emails from his daughter telling me that he does the same with all his family and he behaves paranoid at time and she had to ran away from home at age 15yrs because of his attitudes.But the thing is he never call any cops or authorities when he was in my country.so i think he is being spiteful.His first wife claimed abused and the second one 2.he was jailed for 30 days for the second wife.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
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well i've know him since 2006 and we always quarrel and everytime we quarrel i let his daughter know thru emails and i have emails from his daughter telling me that he does the same with all his family and he behaves paranoid at time and she had to ran away from home at age 15yrs because of his attitudes.But the thing is he never call any cops or authorities when he was in my country.so i think he is being spiteful.His first wife claimed abused and the second one 2.he was jailed for 30 days for the second wife.

Ok, unless he specifically abused you then it isn't really relevant to your immigration status. Even if he did abuse you, I don't usually recommend that people use this as a basis to remove conditions from their green card. You can self-petition to remove conditions based on abuse, divorce, or extreme hardship. Forget about extreme hardship. Almost nobody is approved for this. This leaves abuse or divorce. In either case, you have to prove you entered the marriage in good faith. With an abuse waiver you would also have to prove you were abused, which can be difficult. With a divorce waiver you would also have to prove you were divorced, which requires only a divorce decree.

Him calling the cops on you won't have any affect on your immigration status unless you were actually convicted of something.


12/15/2009 - K1 Visa Interview - APPROVED!

12/29/2009 - Married in Oakland, CA!

08/18/2010 - AOS Interview - APPROVED!

05/01/2013 - Removal of Conditions - APPROVED!

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I will not treat any of you of fraud because I am nobody to judge you, this is totally uncalled for, displaced, rude, etc, you name it and I feel sorry that a fellow immigrant could throw things like that. What I would tell anyone in OUR situation is: I have ALWAYS being honest with USCIS officers and so far, I have been met with very very good reactions. So far ALL the people I have met at the USCIS are pretty much down to earth people, getting married or divorcing, raising kids on their own at the same rate than every one of us immigrants. Do you think they are lunatic utopians who believe that it is either all rosy or in family court already and nothing in between in all couples? Certainly not! They KNOW that 1 in 2 marriages end up in a divorce and that it does not go from passionate love to divorce court overnight. It takes on average a year to a USC couple to make the final decision, several years if there are kids and USCIS knows that. But at this stage and until the divorce is final, NOBODY can tell on which side it is going to go.

So of course keep track of everything that proves that you are working on your marriage (OLD AND RECENT counselors affidavits, etc) and that you have good hope.

THAT SAID, keep ALSO proofs that, in the meantime, you are still functioning like a regular couple (bank accounts, insurance, lease, car, personal emails, emails and text with you in-laws etc) I have NEVER been asked for personal details (Is everything OK between the sheets, or is he slapping the heck out of you and you are not even eating together anymore?) BUT if they ask for personal details be as honest as possible " I would not lie to you, like all couples, we have crossed some rough patches but we are working on our couple. Now if you meant to ask me if we are a couple, yes we are and here are the proofs - and you give the above listed proofs. Nothing talks more volumes that a picture with your mother in law or recent emails between the 2 of you or birthaday pictures). This is the truth because this is a snapshot of your current situation. You are NOT divorced, You have NOT hired a lawyer yet, you are still living with him.

Even if I would always encourage caution, I know that USCIS employees are not unrealistic people thinking that the ROC dead line ALWAYS falls at the right time (I.e before or after the couple's final decision of divorcing but NEVER right in the middle of a rough patch.) and that divorce decision-making process happens in a blink of an eye. They full well know that people try to work things out first, then if it gets better, the couple stays together or if it gets worse, they separate. If it takes years for USC couples to make the final decision, what is the rational reason why an immigrant spouse SHOULD be forced into accelerating the decision making process otherwise this immigrant spouse will be accused of fraud? It does not make sense! If you have proofs that you are honest, there should be no problem!

Now that I have given advice to the next person who will wonder what to do, I have a question for some people here: Why on earth are you people thinking you have any right to judge someone and treat them of fraud based on the problem they have in their marriage? People (most of them women) are DYING everyday because of such an attitude ( yes DYING) People come to this forum for help and advice from the immigrant community and instead of friendly advice, they are met with snap judgements "Sounds like fraud to me" from a fellow immigrants. I mean REALLY? Your marriage is doing fine? Good for you! But think for a minute that if it ever sinks and your spouse turns your life into a living hell, hearing people throwing accusations of fraud about you, will be the last thing you need!

Let's speak the truth here, most USC have already gone totally paranoiac with this immigration fraud creeping suspicion (amazingly, I come from a country where zillions of people would give their life to immigrate to & I have NEVER EVER witnessed such a paranoia there) and these accusations/hints -above all coming from immigrants themselves- add to this putrid stinking witch-hunt ambiance! Some abused spouses are being killed by their spouses or kill themselves every day just because they are already being told that nobody would trust that they came here in good faith by their USC abusive spouse and when they sought help on these forums, they grew even more desperate because they are met with these very same accusation of fraud by fellow immigrants this time! What way out do they think they have? NONE! Do you really think you, immigrants, need to bark with the pack here? Just answer the damn question! She is NOT gonna take the food from your mouth so you have nothing to defend! It is just shocking to read these accusation over and over!

Are we ALWAYS gonna talk of the OH SO VERY BAD immigrant who swindled a OH SO POOR USC, or for a change could we also consider the vast number of USC guys who are so twisted and abusive that they are totally unable to find a USC spouse who could possibly tolerate them, so they either arrange a marriage through meeting websites or seduce somebody abroad, lie their head off about their life, and bring them here in order to have the total control over them and therefore the possibility to treat them worse than they would treat the dog of a USC girlfriend? ( and when they figure out that their foreign spouse CANNOT take their behavior either - because no human being could -, they whine & sob that this spouse has been committing a fraud!)

Can't we just, us immigrants, try to AT LEAST be helpful to each other? Not belittling, angry, entitled and more xenophobic here than we were in our own country? Duh!

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