What Happens When You Want to Divorce Your Undocumented Spouse?
You’re at a loss. On the one hand, you regret that you married an undocumented immigrant in the first place. However, you are worried about what will happen if you divorce your spouse. Will the courts instantly start the deportation process? How are your actions going to impact your children?
Life is full of more twists and turns than you ever expected. For starters, your spouse may have lied to you. There’s a chance that you had no knowledge that he or she was in the country illegally to begin with – and now you feel helpless. Deception makes for very few good marriages.
Of course, there are many reasons you could be considering divorce. It might be as simple as irreconcilable differences. Meanwhile, you or your spouse may have engaged in an adulterous relationship. Of course, there’s also the possibility that your relationship involved some aspect of domestic violence.
Undocumented immigrants should be well aware of the perils of domestic violence claims. In some cases, it may put ICE on alert. In fact, it can mean a swift transfer from a local jail to a detention center – where your spouse will likely wait out the time for a deportation hearing.
Undocumented Immigrants and Divorce
Divorcing an undocumented immigrant is essentially the same as ending a marriage with an American citizen. Your attorney will file the same documents initiating the divorce action. Again, you have the choice of stating a reason for the dissolution of marriage – or merely citing irreconcilable differences.
You will also need to provide information regarding your income and marital assets. If you have children together, the court will review circumstances in awarding custody and visitation, also known as parenting time.
Without question, you may have problems securing spousal support or child support from your husband or wife. Many undocumented immigrants work on a cash basis or use fraudulent papers to earn a living. In some cases, your former spouse may own up to the needs of you and your children, and voluntarily make payments to you.
So, what happens if the authorities have already brought your spouse to a detention center because of his or her illegal status? Nothing stops you from pursuing a divorce. Your attorney will make arrangements to ensure the divorce papers are properly served in the center.
Divorce at any time can be difficult. However, if you are ending your marriage to an undocumented immigrant, you may be further concerned. The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone can help you. Contact our office to learn the best way to move forward.