Family Law & Immigration

Family Law & Immigration

Not all marriages have a happy ending. And if immigration is part of the equation, divorce proceedings can have negative consequences to both the U.S. citizen spouse and the green card holder. There are many different situations to consider when filing for divorce:

  1. What Happens When You Divorce a U.S Citizen Prior to Becoming a U.S. Citizen?
    Your lives will change once your divorce is finalized. However, if one of the divorcees is not a United States citizen then that person may face additional challenges to remain in the United States. When the divorce happens during the first two years of the marriage, the U.S. government may determine that the marriage was not legitimate, cancel the foreign divorcee’s permanent residence, and initiate deportation proceedings.
  2. Couples Who Divorce After Two Years of Marriage
    A divorce may delay the alien’s citizenship process since there is only a three-year residency requirement for immigrants married to U.S. citizens but there is a five-year residency requirement for immigrants who are not married to U.S. citizens.
  3. Your Divorce May Affect the Immigration Rights of Others
    Often it is not just the immigrant spouse whose immigration to the United States is affected by a divorce. The divorce could also impact pending and future applications of other relatives of the immigrant spouse. The U.S. government also scrutinizes immigration applications sponsored by a U.S citizen who has married and divorced one or more non-citizens in the past.
  4. Child Custody and Property Rights May Be Affected
    Getting a divorce has many implications for an immigrant spouse. The immigration status of a party to a divorce can affect a court’s decisions regarding property division, spousal support (alimony), or even custody rights.

No matter which side you are, it is essential to consult with an immigration attorney who understands both your rights under Michigan’s divorce laws and your responsibilities under U.S. immigration law.  Call us today at (231) 941-5878 or email us to schedule a consultation. We represent clients throughout Traverse City and Northern Michigan.