Can I divorce an illegal immigrant and request alimony? 8 Answers as of January 11, 2011

I married my husband who is an illegal immigrant. It has become very clear that he only married me to become a US citizen. Can I divorce him and request alimony?

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Goldberg Jones
Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
Yes, you may get a divorce and request alimony from an illegal immigrant.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/11/2011
Law Office of Curry & Westgate
Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
Yes you can divorce him and request alimony.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/9/2011
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
You can collect spousal support as part of a dissolution from anyone to whom you were legally married in California. Other factors must qualify you (other party earns more, for example). As a general rule, you will only collect support for approximately half of the duration of the marriage, but there are many factors that come into play. If the marriage was long-term (usually ten years or more), then there are further considerations, such as age, length of time out of the workforce, health, etc. Of course, each spouse is expected to work toward becoming self-sufficient, if possible.

You did not mention how long you have been married, but as a practical matter, you might try to annul the marriage on the basis of fraud. You will have a tough time collecting support from someone in another country.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/8/2011
Masson & Fatini, LLP
Masson & Fatini, LLP | Richard E. Masson
Technically, yes. However, if he is an illegal immigrant as is forced to return to his country of origin if your marriage dissolves, the issue then is how are you going to enforce it? One option is, if sufficient funds exist, to request a support trust be established before he returns to his country of origin. Then, if there is an order for him to pay and he doesn't, you can turn to the trust to collect payment.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/8/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
You can divorce your husband. It makes no difference whether or not your husband is an illegal immigrant.You will need to have him served with process after your divorce case is filed.

You can request alimony (spousal support) in your Petition, but whether you receive orders for spousal support depends upon your husband's provable income and your income, among other factors.

If you desire temporary spousal support pending trial or settlement, you would need to file and serve an Order to Show Cause along with your Income and Expense Declaration; temporary spousal support is ordinarily awarded in accordance with the temporary spousal support guidelines applicable in your county, based on your and your husband's incomes.

If you desire "permanent" spousal support, i.e., spousal support after trial or settlement, permanent spousal support is based on factors set forth in Family Code Section 4320, including the marital standard of living.

The duration of permanent spousal support is based primarily upon the length of the marriage. If the marriage was under 10 years in duration, spousal support is generally awarded for 1/2 the duration of the marriage, whereas if the marriage was over 10 years in duration, spousal support is generally awarded until the recipient's death or remarriage.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/7/2011
    Law Office of Stephen Pearcy
    Law Office of Stephen Pearcy | Stephen Pearcy
    Yes you divorce an illegal immigrant and request alimony.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/7/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Yes, you can file for divorce from an illegal immigrant (the family courts do not inquire as to the legal status of any party), however you may have some issues with USCIS if they believe you aided a person in illegally immigrating. That said, I don't believe that this will be an issue for you but I would be happy to speak with you further about this.

    As for spousal support, the primary issue is the relative earnings of the parties. If he makes more than you do, it is possible for you to be ordered to receive spousal support, however collecting that support may be an issue. Please contact me for a free consultation if you wish assistance in your divorce case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/7/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    Yes, you can divorce your husband, regardless of whether he is a U.S. Citizen. As for "alimony" (called "spousal support" in California), if the circumstances warrant that he pay you support, then yes, you can request that the court issue an order to pay you spousal support if he doesn't agree to pay voluntarily. Feel free to call my office to discuss further.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/7/2011
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