Filing for divorce can be an incredibly challenging legal experience. Of course, this legal journey can become even more complicated if you’re in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. In most cases, an immigrant is awarded conditional permanent status once they’ve been married to an American citizen for two years. The spouse can even file a petition with the INS prior to this second anniversary to help their immigrant partner become a full permanent resident (i.e. green card). However, everything changes if the couple gets divorced, especially in Trump’s America.
There are three scenarios that can result in deportation:
- The divorce occurred before permanent resident status could be conferred
- The divorce was filed after the receipt of a conditional green card
- The divorce was filed immediately after the receipt of an unconditional green card
A divorce terminates an immigrant’s eligibility for U.S. permanent resident status – at least on the basis of marriage. Unfortunately, a divorce can also impact any visa applications an immigrant spouse was sponsoring on behalf of their family members.
However, there are three exceptions that can protect a divorcee from being deported. It’s critical that you work with a qualified family lawyer and an immigration attorney to protect your rights, assets, and legal status throughout the duration of your divorce.
You may be able to avoid deportation under the following circumstances:
- The marriage was entered in good faith and terminated due to no fault of the immigrant
- The immigrant would face extreme hardship if deported
- The immigrant was physically or emotionally abused by their former spouse
The court is more likely to believe that a marriage was entered in good faith if the couple lived together, had children, or shared ownership of property. Fortunately, a spouse’s citizenship status has no bearing on divorce determinations related to child custody or property division.
Schedule a Consultation Today
Contact the Fresno divorce lawyers at Arnold Law Firm, APC if you’re an immigrant struggling to obtain a fair marital settlement agreement. Our legal team can answer your questions, listen to your concerns, and represent your interests through each step of this legal process. With our help, you can secure a beneficial agreement or divorce decree that safeguards your quality of life.
Contact Arnold Law Group, APC at (559) 600-1263 to schedule a consultation today.