Divorce has some special twists where one of the couple is a US immigrant.
If one spouse sponsors the other one into the US, the sponsoring spouse typically must swear out an Affidavit of Support, Form I-864. The purpose of this form is, essentially, to assure that an immigrant will not become a public charge, but remain a responsibility of the citizen spouse.
Sponsoring spouses rarely give a thought to swearing out this affidavit when they are trying to bring their loved one into the US. Not so after the relationship takes a turn south.
That affidavit doesn’t mean anything if the couple divorces, does it? Wrong.
The government can hold the sponsoring spouse to the Affidavit of Support.
But that’s not all.
The immigrant spouse can also have the courts order the sponsoring spouse to make good on the Affidavit of Support.
This was confirmed in a recent federal court case litigated here in Florida.