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Christopher B, Esq.
Christopher B, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2922
Experience:  associate attorney
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Prenup marriage in May 2016 to a filipina lady who is coming

Customer Question

prenup for my marriage in May 2016 to a filipina lady who is coming here on a k-1 visa. My question is can my obligation under the US Immigration for her suport in the the event of a divorce and if she remained in the US and at a latter date recieves any benefits such as food stamps or housing or even obama care...can we address that in a prenup and how can we address her having counsel prior to signing. She is agreeable to sign and I will insist or I will not marry her. She will be here in the US on Feb 12th 2016
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.

The Texas Family Code sets out the requirements for a valid, enforceable premarital agreement. Most importantly, premarital agreements need to be in writing. Oral or verbal agreements are not recognized. Some states require a notarized agreement, but Texas does not. Second, the prenuptial agreement must be executed before the parties get married. A whole new set of rules applies to agreements that are entered into after the marriage takes place. Third, both partners must fully disclose their assets and liabilities. Most premarital agreements waive any disclosure that isn’t contained in the document. The risk for failing to fully disclose assets and debts is that a court could later void the agreement due to lack of disclosure if challenged. Premarital agreements frequently alter a person’s property rights under existing law either in the event of death or divorce, so a party can only fairly evaluate the effect of the property rights he or she is being asked to release if a full disclosure of the property and debts is provided. Each party must represent their own interests and, preferably, have independent attorneys representing each of them. It is unethical for one lawyer to represent both parties in a premarital agreement. Most importantly, each partner must sign the prenuptial agreement voluntarily. An agreement that was not voluntarily signed is unenforceable and will be voided by a court upon a challenge to the premarital agreement either on death or divorce. The agreement cannot contain provisions that limit child support rights. A couple cannot agree that one spouse will not seek child support. A court is likely to strike out any adverse limits relating to child support. You can address her support in any way after marriage and come to a mutual agreement, there should be some sort of allowance for assets to go to her or the court could hold the agreement unenforceable. You should retain an attorney on her behalf (she should actually retain) to review the agreement to also make sure it is binding. The small expense now could be worth a lot in the future.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated for my time by the site.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you
you didn't address my question about my obligations if we were to subsequently divorce. The effect of me signing the affidavit of support in her fiance visa petition and she later went on government subsidy? I understand that she should have her own counsel advise her, is that better if she has an atty in her country advise her before she comes here? We will not have children as I have been fixed so child support is not a consideration
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

You will need to have some sort of support for her in this prenuptial and the affidavit of support is not intended to last forever and if your soon to be wife later becomes a citizen then she would be able to support herself and your obligation ended.

The Form I-864 Affidavit of Support is a legally enforceable contract, meaning that either the government or the sponsored immigrant can take the sponsor to court if the sponsor fails to provide adequate support to the immigrant. In fact, the law places more obligations on the sponsor than on the immigrant -- the immigrant could decide to quit a job and sue the sponsor for support.

When the government sues the sponsor, it can collect enough money to reimburse any public agencies that have given public benefits to the immigrant. When the immigrant sues, he or she can collect enough money to bring his or her income up to 125% of the amount listed in the U.S. government’s Poverty Guidelines (as shown in the chart in Form I-864P).

The sponsor’s responsibility lasts until the immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen, has earned 40 work quarters credited toward Social Security (a work quarter is about three months, so this means about ten years of work), dies, or permanently leaves the United States. If the immigrant has already been living in the U.S. and earned work credits before applying for the green card, those count toward the 40. In fact, in marriage-based cases, work done by the U.S. petitioning spouse during the marriage can be counted toward these 40 quarters. A divorced immigrant spouse could decide to sit on a couch all day and sue the former spouse for support. The sponsor may wish to have the immigrant sign a separate contract agreeing not to do this, but it is not clear whether courts would enforce such a contract. Basically if she went on subsidy you may be liable to pay the government back, so you want be able to provide that she not go on government assistance if she has not met the criteria to release you and move back to her country. She should probably have an attorney present at the signing of the prenuptial agreement so that would rule out an attorney in her country.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

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