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Author Topic: Support obligations. What if we divorce before 2 years? After 2 years?  (Read 282 times)

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Offline uninformed

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I have a couple of questions about the K1 process.

1. If I bring a girl to the USA on a K1 visa and we marry, but then divorce before 2 years, am I obligated to support her as her sponsor? If so, for how long?

2. If we remain married for over 2 years, and then divorce, am I obligated to support her as her sponsor? If so, for how long?

3. Are there any other time mile stones that change the rules for support?

4. What are the obligations for supporting a married or divorced spouse who has come to America on a K1 visa?

I realize the rules change if DV is an issue. I am asking these questions assuming DV is not an issue.

I found this on the USCIS website regarding affidavit of support:

An affidavit of support is a document an individual signs to accept financial responsibility for another person, usually a relative, who is coming to the United States to live permanently.  The person who signs the affidavit of support becomes the sponsor of the relative (or other individual) coming to live in the United States.  The sponsor is usually the petitioner of an immigrant petition for a family member.

An affidavit of support is legally enforceable; the sponsor's responsibility usually lasts until the family member or other individual either becomes a U.S. citizen, or can be credited with 40 quarters of work (usually 10 years).

The law concerning affidavits of support is found in Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sections 212(a)(4) and 213A.  The provisions are codified in Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 8 CFR 213a.


Online Maxx

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Re: Support obligations. What if we divorce before 2 years? After 2 years?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2017, 09:03:00 PM »

I've lived these issues and I have observed others who also have. There is a lot of advice that is given on this subject that is inaccurate or exaggerated. I'll post more later.

Offline Manny

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Re: Support obligations. What if we divorce before 2 years? After 2 years?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2017, 04:44:13 PM »
I found this on the USCIS website regarding affidavit of support:

An affidavit of support is a document an individual signs to accept financial responsibility for another person, usually a relative, who is coming to the United States to live permanently.  The person who signs the affidavit of support becomes the sponsor of the relative (or other individual) coming to live in the United States.  The sponsor is usually the petitioner of an immigrant petition for a family member.

An affidavit of support is legally enforceable; the sponsor's responsibility usually lasts until the family member or other individual either becomes a U.S. citizen, or can be credited with 40 quarters of work (usually 10 years).

That seems pretty straightforward.

Do you expect to import a woman, and if you choose to divorce her, abandon the support you signed up for and let the taxpayer foot the bill?

Somehow, I can't see the US under Trump working like that.

A knowledgeable American will probably be along shortly who knows if reality differs to what the quoted text says.


Offline Boris

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Re: Support obligations. What if we divorce before 2 years? After 2 years?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2017, 05:20:05 PM »
Two years have nothing to do with it. If she is not a citizen then you fall under the 40 quarters  rule. But, that is the least of your concerns. If she is here and you divorce you are going to have to provide for her unless she can provide for herself...Depending on the state judges frown upon you abandoning your responsibilities....Let's say you make 65,000 per year and she makes 15,000. You are going to pay....

Offline uninformed

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Re: Support obligations. What if we divorce before 2 years? After 2 years?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2017, 07:16:34 PM »
Two years have nothing to do with it. If she is not a citizen then you fall under the 40 quarters  rule. But, that is the least of your concerns. If she is here and you divorce you are going to have to provide for her unless she can provide for herself...Depending on the state judges frown upon you abandoning your responsibilities....Let's say you make 65,000 per year and she makes 15,000. You are going to pay....

Good points and it would seem you are right. However, further research seems to indicate the issue is not that simple. According to some info I saw in various other locations on the web, there is no automatic payment as a result of being a sponsor who has signed an affidavit of support. A court order must be sought by the ex spouse. Furthermore, the typical affidavit of support specifies that the sponsor must compensate the government for "means tested support" collected by the immigrant.

Obviously this issue is intertwined with spousal support, but my understanding is that family courts often do not consider the affidavit when deciding this issue. Apparently a prenup can be a complicating factor as well.

I don't wish to present myself as an expert, but neither do I tend to believe assertions stated forcefully without backup.

It would be nice to hear from someone who has first hand knowledge of this.