Sponsor’s Affidavit of Support Supersedes Prenuptial Agreement on Alimony

Husband, a naturalized US citizen, sponsors Wife, an immigrant, into the United States.

Among the immigration papers they signed for Wife to immigrate, is the standard Affidavit of Support, in which the Sponsor (Husband) promises to support the sponsored immigrant (Wife).

Husband and Wife also privately signed a prenuptial agreement in which they both gave up any rights to receive alimony from one another.

Husband and Wife marry.

A couple of years later, Husband and Wife divorce.

Wife moves in with her adult Son and receives food stamps. Son contributes to Wife’s support from his modest income.

After Husband’s and Wife’s divorce becomes final, Wife sues Husband in federal court, seeking to enforce the immigration Affidavit of Support … despite their prenuptial agreement.

At trial in federal court, the Court ruled that the Affidavit of Support was enforceable when the sponsor and the immigrant divorced. However, in this particular case, since Wife’s son was supporting her, it was not.

On appeal, the federal intermediate appellate court reversed, holding that the Affidavit of Support was enforceable against Husband without regard to Son’s income and contribution to Wife’s support.

Read more in this Courthouse News Service article: Immigrant Ex Gets Alimony Despite Prenup .