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k1crosser

Marital problems with conditional green card

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Will try and keep this brief.

Wife and I crossed on K1 visa. Wife is USC, I'm Canadian. We got married within 90 days, got approved on AOS, and received conditional green card this week. For the past few months, we've been going through tons of marital problems. A few weeks ago during a disagreement, she struck me. However, I continued to give her the benefit of the doubt out of love, and tried to get us into marriage counseling at a few locations. We went to the AOS interview last week, with the intent to try and make our marriage work. We were approved, and the conditional green card came this week. On Wednesday, my wife informed me that she wasn't going to follow me to the marriage counseling I had scheduled for us, even though she had approved of it the day before. We had another disagreement about it, which quickly turned into a shouting match with lots of colorful language. The next day (yesterday), she informed me that she was serving me with divorce papers, and wants me out of the apartment (the lease is only in her name). She has given me a short deadline to leave the apartment of one week. Due to the fact that I just received my employment authorization, and the fact that I have nobody else to stay with for hundreds of miles, my family is thinking about coming down from Canada next week to help me move all of my belongings back to Canada.

I'm aware that the laws dictate that I can be out of the country for 6 months without any issues pertaining to residency. My plan at the moment is to only move my belongings back to Canada for a short period, while I come up with a game plan, and then to move my belongings back in a month or 2. I have a job offer in another state, and fully intend to re-locate my belongings back to the US. My financial problem (and my wife's request to move out by next week) have given me no options in terms of moving my entire life to any place around here, which puts me in the awkward position of having to use the only resource I have: My Canadian family. Now, I've done the research on the lifting of conditions when a divorce occurs, and understand my rights and responsibilities in that sense. I fully intend to lift my conditions upon immediate completion of our divorce. However, my greater concern lies with moving my stuff into Canada, and then back into the United States.

My question is this: Is this a slippery slope? Will I encounter any issues upon re-entry into the United States when I try and move all my belongings back in? If I'm going for only a month or 2, will there be any problems? I know I'm supposed to be legally residing inside the United States during this period, so would I just be better of trying to explain to my family that I need to stick it out at someone else's house down here? We've got family friends in a few states, but none are as close as my family. This is a complicated situation, and one I've been thrown into over the past 24 hours.

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Why not put your things into storage instead of worrying about this? You say you'll be back in two to three months. My guess is that storage will cost less in time, money and worry than packing up all your stuff, moving it to Canada, storing it there, moving it back to the USA, etc.

Take what you need for the next few months to Canada and put the rest into storage. And good luck!

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Sorry to hear about your problems, but instead of making hasty decisions you might want to take a step back and breathe.

Like Honey Crumpet said, move your things to storage instead of across the border. That is usually the more inexpensive solution and gives you time to meet up with your family and talk things over.

I'm aware that you are not looking for advice about your marital problems, but you might want to try to keep things amicable and friendly between you and your wife. She wants you to move out, so move out. Make sure you have all the relevant papers that you will need in case you decide to stay in the US. And maybe after some time has passed, she is willing to talk to you, maybe even considers helping you with the removal of condition by stating that she could not deal and she was the one instigating the divorce. Also, in a few months down the road she might be able to give you the real reason for her behavior - if there is one. Sometimes it just crashes and burns, if it does no amount of counseling will help. Respect her wishes right now and do what you need to do to deal with it.

As for the divorce, depending on what state you're in, if yours is Illinois your wife will need your cooperation (if I'm not totally mistaken) to get a fast divorce based on no fault. As far as I can tell that is the case here:

Illinois has no fault divorce laws based on living separate and apart for six (6) months, if both parties agree in writing. If only one spouse brings the action for divorce, the laws for living separate and apart require a period of two (2) years.

Another thing to consider is, you need to inform USCIS about a change of address. This is important in your case, because she will need to serve you the papers and as long as your whereabouts are known the court won't grant the divorce in absentia - that means she needs your help to dissolve this quickly and clean.

You have a lot of things to think about, but right now you should comply with her wishes, move out, put your stuff into storage, be with your family for a while and use that time to think about your future.

Good luck to you.


All done ;-)

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With a divorce so soon after AOS, make sure you have enough evidence when it's time for ROC to prove that you entered the marriage in good faith.


03/27/2009: Engaged in Ithaca, New York.
08/17/2009: Wedding in Calcutta, India.
09/29/2009: I-130 NOA1
01/25/2010: I-130 NOA2
03/23/2010: Case completed.
05/12/2010: CR-1 interview at Mumbai, India.
05/20/2010: US Entry, Chicago.
03/01/2012: ROC NOA1.
03/26/2012: Biometrics completed.
12/07/2012: 10 year card production ordered.

09/25/2013: N-400 NOA1

10/16/2013: Biometrics completed

12/03/2013: Interview

12/20/2013: Oath ceremony

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Why not put your things into storage instead of worrying about this? You say you'll be back in two to three months. My guess is that storage will cost less in time, money and worry than packing up all your stuff, moving it to Canada, storing it there, moving it back to the USA, etc.

Take what you need for the next few months to Canada and put the rest into storage. And good luck!

I will be going the storage route. Thanks for the advice.

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Sorry to hear about your problems, but instead of making hasty decisions you might want to take a step back and breathe.

Like Honey Crumpet said, move your things to storage instead of across the border. That is usually the more inexpensive solution and gives you time to meet up with your family and talk things over.

I'm aware that you are not looking for advice about your marital problems, but you might want to try to keep things amicable and friendly between you and your wife. She wants you to move out, so move out. Make sure you have all the relevant papers that you will need in case you decide to stay in the US. And maybe after some time has passed, she is willing to talk to you, maybe even considers helping you with the removal of condition by stating that she could not deal and she was the one instigating the divorce. Also, in a few months down the road she might be able to give you the real reason for her behavior - if there is one. Sometimes it just crashes and burns, if it does no amount of counseling will help. Respect her wishes right now and do what you need to do to deal with it.

As for the divorce, depending on what state you're in, if yours is Illinois your wife will need your cooperation (if I'm not totally mistaken) to get a fast divorce based on no fault. As far as I can tell that is the case here:

Illinois has no fault divorce laws based on living separate and apart for six (6) months, if both parties agree in writing. If only one spouse brings the action for divorce, the laws for living separate and apart require a period of two (2) years.

Another thing to consider is, you need to inform USCIS about a change of address. This is important in your case, because she will need to serve you the papers and as long as your whereabouts are known the court won't grant the divorce in absentia - that means she needs your help to dissolve this quickly and clean.

You have a lot of things to think about, but right now you should comply with her wishes, move out, put your stuff into storage, be with your family for a while and use that time to think about your future.

Good luck to you.

Made the decision to move my stuff to storage. My property will remain in the US, but I'll be taking an extended visit for a month or 2 to Canada. Don't think I've got any issues there. In terms of the address for USCIS, I have a few family friends in other states, and may end up using one of them as my place of residency when I return from my trip to Canada. I'm going to decide on one over the next day or two, so that I can notify USCIS via AR-11 of my new American-based address. The family friend can simply hold my mail until I get there, and then I'll grab my stuff from storage and move forward.

As far as the marriage goes, it's likely not to be fixed. We obviously just didn't match up when it came to living together. I've had more than enough time to think about everything, and have literally spent weeks taking steps back. No matter what, we just don't click, and it's a shame.

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Out of interest she can't force you to leave. You live there too, lease is irrelevant because you're her spouse. I understand you want to get out of that poisonous situation but you have rights to live there.

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Out of interest she can't force you to leave. You live there too, lease is irrelevant because you're her spouse. I understand you want to get out of that poisonous situation but you have rights to live there.

Appreciate the info. Definitely want to get out of this situation, but still good to know I can't be kicked out to the curb.

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I received the divorce papers today. Reading it seemed pretty standard at first, and then I read this: "...(husband) has been guilty of extreme and repeated acts of mental cruelty toward (wife) causing (husband) to become upset and nervous...during course of marriage (wife) conducted herself as a loving, true and faithful spouse."

This is getting absurd. We've had our fights, and have both said extremely nasty things to each other, but this is pretty telling of the situation. The girl has assaulted me twice, and I've never laid a finger on her or threatened her, but because we've had screaming matches at each other, now she's somehow using this to her advantage? I'm aware that this is probably standard legal language, but to say that she has conducted herself as a loving spouse after physically striking me, and threatening to call immigration to kick me out of the country, is just stunning. She's not going to make this easy, which is funny considering that the paper mentions irreconcilable differences just before mentioning my alleged "mental cruelty". Should I get a lawyer involved? Seems like the right call.

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You will definitely need a lawyer here. She is accusing you of abuse - and that's nothing to play around with. Most likely her lawyer told her to go down this road to expedite the divorce proceedings. "...guilty of extreme and repeated acts of metal cruelty..." does not sound like standard legalese to me - and it could come back to bite you if you chose to remove conditions on your own. Seems like she is going for a fault-based divorce and she is pinning it on you. What does speak in your favor is, that unless she deliberately lied during the interview, you have a chance to get her to change her mind and make this easy for both of you.

No matter how I look at it - it seems rather radical of her to go to these extremes. I'm not trying to imply anything but could there be a reason for her to try and get rid of you this way? Another love-interest on her side? Family/friends influencing her? I seriously think you should dig a little deeper and find out what is going on - for your sake and future.

Good luck!


All done ;-)

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My heart goes out to you, I don't know you, I don't know your wife, but this is a miserable situation, anyway you look at it.....yep, I would agree, time to lawyer up, pay the lawyer the fee...maybe that whole VAWA law is in play with her thinking with the language in the divorce decree like the previous poster mentioned, with her being the saint, maybe she is trying to set you up to not be able to ROC successfully, but I don't know, maybe a lawyer can give you some good advice....best hopes for you man...

Edited by Orando

Our Visa Journey

12-10-2011: Married

01-03-2012: I-130 Mailed

01-09-2012: NOA1

05-16-2012: NOA2

06-04-2012: NVC Received

11-27-2012: NVC Case Complete

01-23-2013: Interview in Bogota (pending medical results)

02-13-2013: Visa Approved

03-20-2013: POE - Miami

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I received the divorce papers today. Reading it seemed pretty standard at first, and then I read this: "...(husband) has been guilty of extreme and repeated acts of mental cruelty toward (wife) causing (husband) to become upset and nervous...during course of marriage (wife) conducted herself as a loving, true and faithful spouse."

This is getting absurd. We've had our fights, and have both said extremely nasty things to each other, but this is pretty telling of the situation. The girl has assaulted me twice, and I've never laid a finger on her or threatened her, but because we've had screaming matches at each other, now she's somehow using this to her advantage? I'm aware that this is probably standard legal language, but to say that she has conducted herself as a loving spouse after physically striking me, and threatening to call immigration to kick me out of the country, is just stunning. She's not going to make this easy, which is funny considering that the paper mentions irreconcilable differences just before mentioning my alleged "mental cruelty". Should I get a lawyer involved? Seems like the right call.

You most DEFINITELY need to get a lawyer involved. Your divorce papers will state that you are guilty of abuse and that can come back and hurt you later. I do wonder if you made an error though in writing it? Especially where I bolded above. It says that YOUR abuse of HER caused YOU to become upset and nervous.

She is fighting dirty. It's a good thing you read it properly. I would not sign anything where she says you abused her, I would be EXTREMELY careful not admitting this to her (that you're contesting the wording etc) until you are out because she could then try and accuse you of abuse, call the police just to get the report there.

If you filed the police reports due to her abuse or have evidence of it that could help you change it. It sounds like she won't change it though and you'll have to contest the divorce. That could get expensive and that's probably why she did it (to make you look bad and she knows you can't afford to change it) BUT you don't want abuse on your record ANYWHERE.

Edited by Vanessa&Tony

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You most DEFINITELY need to get a lawyer involved. Your divorce papers will state that you are guilty of abuse and that can come back and hurt you later. I do wonder if you made an error though in writing it? Especially where I bolded above. It says that YOUR abuse of HER caused YOU to become upset and nervous.

She is fighting dirty. It's a good thing you read it properly. I would not sign anything where she says you abused her, I would be EXTREMELY careful not admitting this to her (that you're contesting the wording etc) until you are out because she could then try and accuse you of abuse, call the police just to get the report there.

If you filed the police reports due to her abuse or have evidence of it that could help you change it. It sounds like she won't change it though and you'll have to contest the divorce. That could get expensive and that's probably why she did it (to make you look bad and she knows you can't afford to change it) BUT you don't want abuse on your record ANYWHERE.

Not even sure this is proof, but wife talked to my Mother over the phone the second time she struck me (I called my family to talk with them about it). At first my wife told my Mother said she hadn't touched me, and then admitted seconds later that she slapped me. It certainly wasn't just a slap. Either way, not sure if that helps as a witness or not to her own admission of physical contact. My sister was next to the phone when the admission was made, and they both heard it.

I was reading the I-864 contract last night. Some of the things that stood out to me were:

...the U.S. Government can consider your income and assets to be available for the support of the intending immigrant.
Provide the intending immigrant any support necessary to maintain him or her at an income that is at least 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
If you do not provide sufficient support to the person who becomes a permanent resident based on Form I-864 that you signed, that person may sue you for this support.
If a Federal, State or local agency, or a private agency provides any covered means-tested public benefit to the person who becomes a permanent resident based on the Form I-864 that you signed, the agency may ask you to reimburse them for the amount of the benefits they provided. If you do not make the reimbursement, the agency may sue you for the amount the agency believes you owe.
If you are sued, and the court enters a judgement against you, the person or agency that sued you may use any legally permitted procedures for enforcing or collecting the judgement. You may also be required to pay the costs of collection, including attorney fees.
Note that divorce does not terminate your obligations under this Form I-864.

That last line is interesting going forward. However, something to mention is that my wife withheld her most recent work income from me. Last week she opened up her own private bank account (I can't access), and changed her direct deposit information with her employer. If I go into online banking, there are direct deposits every 2 weeks for the past few months, except for the most recent 2-week-mark. I don't want to make this any more "dirty" going forward, but I wonder if these are important factors to have in my back pocket.

Essentially, with the wording above, does that give me the opportunity to have her pay for any legal costs I incur from this?

Edited by k1crosser

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Spoke to another lawyer this morning (briefly spoke to one yesterday). He mentioned that allegations made as a part of the divorce petition, would not be held against someone in the future when it comes to immigration matters, as long as they do not result in any criminal charges/restraining orders.

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I would not trust what that lawyer is saying. If she gets the divorce done with that in it, immigration will definitely look at it in a different light then a no fault divorce. What if she has also called and made a complaint with immigration, saying all kinds of things to them whether she has proof or not if you leave that on your papers may back up her claim of abuse. Then it could very well affect you ROC. I wouldn't put it past her lawyer to try every trick up his sleeves to try and get you out of the US and her out of the affidavit of support. She is hoping you will not be able to fight her, and she gets rid of you and any tied or responsibility she has. You really need to fight this.


Spoiler

Met Playing Everquest in 2005
Engaged 9-15-2006
K-1 & 4 K-2'S
Filed 05-09-07
Interview 03-12-08
Visa received 04-21-08
Entry 05-06-08
Married 06-21-08
AOS X5
Filed 07-08-08
Cards Received01-22-09
Roc X5
Filed 10-17-10
Cards Received02-22-11
Citizenship
Filed 10-17-11
Interview 01-12-12
Oath 06-29-12

Citizenship for older 2 boys

Filed 03/08/2014

NOA/fee waiver 03/19/2014

Biometrics 04/15/14

Interview 05/29/14

In line for Oath 06/20/14

Oath 09/19/2014 We are all done! All USC no more USCIS

 

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