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Getting divorced - advice please..

Getting divorced - advice please..

Old Dec 4th 2010, 7:04 pm
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Default Getting divorced - advice please..

Hello

My marriage of just over three years has broken down completely and my husband has served me with divorce papers.

We’ve agreed a no-contest divorce. During our time together, he has accumulated over $60,000 in debt because of his PhD studies (he received no financial support from his University). For various reasons – including lack of transport (we live out in the country) – I haven’t worked since our marriage, so have made virtually no financial contribution since we got together.

My husband is job-hunting (as now am I), but isn’t having much luck. He is pressurising me to move out so that he can let the room in which I am sleeping – as well as maybe another room he plans to convert. Without a job and high credit card charges, this appears to be his only option to get some kind of income for the time being. The problem is that (a) I don’t have enough money myself to move out and (b) I have less than 10 days to find somewhere to live while continuing my job search; (I now have my permanent resident status).

Bearing in mind that he agreed to support me when I came to this country (although apart from paying the utilities and groceries he hasn’t really done so), are there any resources into which I can tap to get me through this horrible phase in my life? I realise that, compared to many people, I am getting off relatively lightly, but I am scared and panicking right now, so any constructive advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all in advance.

Last edited by Sue; Dec 5th 2010 at 12:08 am. Reason: Moved to USA forum from immigration forum
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Old Dec 4th 2010, 7:39 pm
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Default Re: Getting divorced - advice please..

Originally Posted by IngaC View Post
Hello

My marriage of just over three years has broken down completely and my husband has served me with divorce papers.


Bearing in mind that he agreed to support me when I came to this country (although apart from paying the utilities and groceries he hasn’t really done so), are there any resources into which I can tap to get me through this horrible phase in my life? I realise that, compared to many people, I am getting off relatively lightly, but I am scared and panicking right now, so any constructive advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all in advance.
I honestly don't know what advice you wish to receive. I'm sorry that your marriage as failed and that after 3 years you are divorcing. However, that has nothing to do with your green card/residency status since you have been married over 3 years and it is assumed that you have received the removal of conditions.

As for the affidavit of support, he has maintained the home, fed you, provided heat and a/c, and that is support. It is evident that you can't sue him for alimony since he has no income.

You are not eligible to apply for welfare benefits as you are not yet here 5 years and you do have the ability to work. I would suggest you take any employment you can find, even at McDonald's, rent a room, not an apartment, and get yourself on your feet.
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Old Dec 4th 2010, 7:56 pm
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Default Re: Getting divorced - advice please..

Thanks to the wonderful Ca laws, if you get a job before he does, you'l be paying him alimony.
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Old Dec 4th 2010, 9:13 pm
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Default Re: Getting divorced - advice please..

Originally Posted by IngaC View Post
I now have my permanent resident status.
While I sympathize with your situation - with respect, you are a PR, and this isn't an immigration issue. It's a family matter between you and your husband.

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Old Dec 4th 2010, 9:38 pm
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Default Re: Getting divorced - advice please..

Obviously, I posted in the wrong forum. I am not asking advice about immigration issues as such but rather where I can get practical help in moving on with extremely limited resources. If I were in England, I would know where to go, but I’ve been very isolated while living here and my knowledge base is therefore virtually non-existent – even with the internet.

Perhaps someone could suggest where I should post? Thanks.
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Old Dec 4th 2010, 9:57 pm
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Default Re: Getting divorced - advice please..

Originally Posted by IngaC View Post
Obviously, I posted in the wrong forum. I am not asking advice about immigration issues as such but rather where I can get practical help in moving on with extremely limited resources. If I were in England, I would know where to go, but I’ve been very isolated while living here and my knowledge base is therefore virtually non-existent – even with the internet.

Perhaps someone could suggest where I should post? Thanks.
Try posting in the main USA forum. This forum is specifically for immigration-related questions, and if you have your 10-year green card already, your status in the USA is not in danger.

As others have said, the other part of your immigration question might be related to the I-864 affidavit of support that he signed, so when you talk to a divorce lawyer, be sure to bring along a copy of that so he can take a look and perhaps use it to your advantage somehow...now sure how, but a lawyer will know.

Rene
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Old Dec 4th 2010, 10:19 pm
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Default Re: Getting divorced - advice please..

Maybe your job search should be focused on those jobs which also offer live in accommodation - I know in England you can often find pub or hotel work which offers food and board. Perhaps craigslist jobs might be a good start for that? Maybe some kind of au pair/live in housekeeper type thing? Not the greatest I know but would solve 2 problems in one go and you wouldn't need to worry about putting down a deposit on rental accommodation or surviving the until your first pay check.
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Old Dec 4th 2010, 10:36 pm
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Default Re: Getting divorced - advice please..

Originally Posted by IngaC View Post
Hello

My marriage of just over three years has broken down completely and my husband has served me with divorce papers.

We’ve agreed a no-contest divorce. During our time together, he has accumulated over $60,000 in debt because of his PhD studies (he received no financial support from his University). For various reasons – including lack of transport (we live out in the country) – I haven’t worked since our marriage, so have made virtually no financial contribution since we got together.

My husband is job-hunting (as now am I), but isn’t having much luck. He is pressurising me to move out so that he can let the room in which I am sleeping – as well as maybe another room he plans to convert. Without a job and high credit card charges, this appears to be his only option to get some kind of income for the time being. The problem is that (a) I don’t have enough money myself to move out and (b) I have less than 10 days to find somewhere to live while continuing my job search; (I now have my permanent resident status).

Bearing in mind that he agreed to support me when I came to this country (although apart from paying the utilities and groceries he hasn’t really done so), are there any resources into which I can tap to get me through this horrible phase in my life? I realise that, compared to many people, I am getting off relatively lightly, but I am scared and panicking right now, so any constructive advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all in advance.
Legally he can't just kick you out. Although he may be paying the rent, you are a tenant and can't be legally kicked out without being legally evicted. He can ask you to leave and if you agree, that is legal. But if you don't agree, he has to go through the eviction process and it is very difficult to evict a spouse.

If your husband is trying to get you out quickly, you can refuse or negotiate more time. I'm not necessarily recommending that but that may be your only choice. If he kicks you out, all you have to do is call the police and they will force him to let you back in.

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Old Dec 4th 2010, 11:07 pm
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Default Re: Getting divorced - advice please..

IngaC,
I am so sorry and I do sympathize with you! (besides everyone here I am sure) I went through something very similar. My US ex left me and asked me officially to move out within 3 days. I left voluntarily with the help of friends/coworkers.
I do not know your situation exactly e.g. you are still friends or not. If so, I think Michael is right, try to talk to him so that you could gain some time (find a job -even McDodo as Rete said, and a place to live). If he is not cooperative, then can you turn to your friends? Do not be embarassed! I was and I kept my sorrow, all my problems inside for a long period of time before I confessed to my close friends. I was amazed how helpful they were! Give it a try!

Take care IngaC.
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Old Dec 5th 2010, 1:48 am
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Default Re: Getting divorced - advice please..

Do you have a pre-nup?

Have you lived in California for most of the time? If so, you live in a community property state, but -

Half of the debt MAY or MAY NOT be yours. Is your name on any of the loans or credit card statements? Did you sign the applications?

If you plan to stay in the US, it might be worth your while to get a consult with a family lawyer. You might, for example, be able to negotiate a post-nuptial agreement in which your husband is held liable for the loans and you agree to move out - or some other arrangement. If the PhD increased his earning power, even if he's jobless, then HE might have to give you some money. I would talk to a family lawyer; usually a first consultation is free.
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Old Dec 5th 2010, 1:53 am
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Default Re: Getting divorced - advice please..

As snowbunny says, it's time to ask a lawyer - you really don't want to end up with problems that could've been easily avoided simply because you didn't get decent advice.

Also, does some-to-be-ex-hubby have a lawyer? And where are those ten days coming from? Just because he wants you to move out within a certain period of time doesn't mean he's right.

If you are a member of a local church it might be worth talking to your pastor to see if they're able to provide some kind of help, too.

Last edited by TimNiceBut; Dec 5th 2010 at 1:56 am.
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Old Dec 5th 2010, 10:04 am
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Default Re: Getting divorced - advice please..

Originally Posted by Maishe View Post
Thats a good thing, he has been taking care of you and he has to continue to do so. Talk to a lawyer ASAP because you obviously have many more rights than you are aware of. He almost certainly is going to be the one that that has to move out, and he will have to continue paying the bills, at least until this is all settled. Don't agree to anything until you see a lawyer, he'll get that bill as well.

Good luck, and don't worry, he just can't leave you high and dry like that
I am a real example...US ex cancelled the rent and changed his address (without informing and telling me his new address)....i.e. leaving me high and dry. What do you think? Maybe I am not a good example though as we had a short marriage. Anyway, I believe it is not 100% sure that PR can get support from USCIS after divorce. It really depends on the circumstances.

Last edited by EU_Girl; Dec 5th 2010 at 10:52 am. Reason: clarity/adding
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Old Dec 5th 2010, 2:22 pm
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Default Re: Getting divorced - advice please..

$60,000 in debt,are you on joint credit card's or loan payments,then if not paid back they are your debts as well..........
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Old Dec 5th 2010, 2:50 pm
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Default Re: Getting divorced - advice please..

Originally Posted by osgood View Post
$60,000 in debt,are you on joint credit card's or loan payments,then if not paid back they are your debts as well..........
Sounded like student loans to me.
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Old Dec 5th 2010, 3:27 pm
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Default Re: Getting divorced - advice please..

Thank you to all of you who were compassionate and understanding of my posting in the wrong forum (unlike two of the respondents) and, who also provided me with some useful advice.. Will be seeking (free) legal advice asap.

I am looking for live-in accommodation jobs but until one materialises, need to know if there is any kind of housing assistance available to me in the interim. As I mentioned previously, transport is an issue; while I do have a California licence, I do not have a car, so have to be able to live somewhere with access to what public transport is available. (Am aware that I am not entitled to welfare but don’t know if housing counts). Being technically-challenged doesn’t help either..

Although I am now a PR, I have some questions related to this;

If worse comes to worst and I have to return to England for a while, if I return to the States before one year is up, am I still able to maintain my PR status?

Do I have to inform USCIS of my impending divorce/CoA?

And, finally, will I be able to change my green card to my maiden name once the divorce is finalised?

Thank you again.
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