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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 16546
Experience:  Licensed experienced Attorney
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I want a divorce and I need advise. I married my wife in Nigeria,

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I want a divorce and I need advise.
I married my wife in Nigeria, and filed immigration papers to bring her here.
We have lived together for 9 Months, but I am tired of the marriage and want out.
What are my options? Specifically, considering she quit her job in Nigeria and let her family to join me here, can I get a contested divorce without Alimony payments?
Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to answer your question.

I am sorry to hear about this unfortunate situation.

Have you only been legally married for 9 months?

Do you have any minor children with your wife?

What is your current income and what is your wife's income?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She is not working, I have been supporting her 100%.

She attends community college and I pay for it also. I make $85,000 per annum. We don't have any children between us.

Thank you for your follow up.

How long have you been legally married to your wife?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

we were married 09/07/2011

Thank you for your follow up.

Did you sign an affidavit of support for your wife when you brought her to the US?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes. I did.

Thank you for your follow up.

Unfortunately, if you did sign the Affidavit of Support for your wife, you would be held legally responsible to pay 125% of the federal poverty level of spousal support for your wife in case of divorce if she is unable to find employment, until your wife becomes a US citizen or works for 10 years and earns 40 qualifying quarter retirement credits.

Also, if your wife becomes public charge and received government benefits, before becoming a US citizen or earning 40 credits, the government can and in most cases does go after the sponsor for any money paid to the sponsored alien spouse.

You can read more about it at the link below, which has all the specific details and updates about your liability under the I-864 to your spouse or any other alien you have sponsored:,0110-wheeler.shtm

I would strongly urge you to consult with a local divorce attorney who has handled similar cases, before proceeding with your divorce, as in most cases it is simply better to wait for the alien spouse to become a US citizen, in the situation similar to yours.

I wish you the best of luck!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What if the divorce is uncontested?

Thank you for your follow up.

While the wife can choose not to go after use for the obligation under I-864, if she does become a public charge and receives any government benefits, the government will still be able to go after you for any money paid to your wife's benefits and your wife cannot waive that, as this obligation under I-864 is not to your wife, but to the government.

I wish you the best of luck!
Do you have any related follow up questions for me?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

1. What constitutes government benefits?

2. How does the situation change if she is the one that files for the divorce?


Thank you for your follow up.

1) Government benefits would be Welfare, Medicaid, etc...

2) It would not make any difference whether you or sponsored alien files for the divorce for the purposes of your obligations under I-864

I wish you the best of luck!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If she finds a job, how does that absolves me?

As long as, your wife has an income above poverty level, you would not be subject to providing the 125% of povery standard for her.

However, she does not have an obligation to seek employment and can simply choose not to work and collect 125 of poverty level support from you, which many foreign sponsored aliens have been doing lately.

I wish you the best of luck!
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