Do I qualify for VAWA? 8 Answers as of June 15, 2011

To start off, I met my American citizen husband in May 2009. We dated for a year and then married August 2010 and lived together since July 2010. I got pregnant and decided to move 2 hours away and he got us an apartment. In Nov. he took a job that had him working Sun.-Sun., 12-14 hours everyday. While he worked in other towns I had no choice but to stay alone in an empty apartment. There were circumstances where he could have asked for a day off to accompany me to an appointment or visit me but he insisted to work instead. So, every 40 days he came to see me for only 10 days and then it was another 40 days without seeing him. February 2011 was the last time I saw him before my son was born. During that time I was going through hell and pregnant, there were times when he refused to call me or when we did talk he argued with me because I insisted for him to see me, this caused my water to break because of the distres. He yelled over the phone abusive phrases and he treated me like a child and always made me feel useless or used. In April 2011 my mother saw my situation so she told me to live with her because I've been kicked out of my apartment because he refused to pay rent. When I needed him the most he was busy drinking with friends. When my son was born he just showed up to but his name on his B.C. and stayed 3 days and haven't seen him since. He now lives with his parents 2 hours away and doesn't bother stopping by, I believe he abandoned me pregnant and now my son and I depend on my parents. To this day he threatens me that he is going to take my son, he once mentioned that he was going to take him to Mexico. He uses that I'm illegal against me and now I feel like he controls me. I wasn't physically abused but he did mentally and emotionally abused me.

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Lyttle Law Firm, PLLC
Lyttle Law Firm, PLLC | Daniella Lyttle
VAWA cases are challenging and fact intensive. It may be possible for you to qualify under VAWA but you will have to meet with a lawyer for further analysis. If you get divorced, you must petition your VAWA case within 2 years or less. Meet with a lawyer ASAP to plan this out.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/15/2011
Law Office of Christine Troy
Law Office of Christine Troy | Christine Troy
From your description, it does sound like you would have a valid VAWA claim. However in order to determine this, the attorney you work with will need to sit down with you to go over your entire case in full detail. If you do not have enough money for this, there are a lot of pro bono clinics and women's shelters that prepare and file VAWA claims. I encourage you to talk with some of them- you can google them just like you did for this site- to determine which agency will be the most legitimate and be able to assist you with your case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/14/2011
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
Sorry to hear that. It sounds like you are eligible to petition for yourself as abused spouse. This is a strict type of cases where everything will be under close examination. You are suggested to hire a lawyer to help you out on the petition.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/14/2011
Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law
Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law | Eric Mark
I am sorry to hear about your situation. It is sad, indeed. You may qualify for VAWA, but there are definitely some difficult aspects to your situation that need to be proven. You should consult with an attorney to help you through the process to have the best chance at success. I have handled several similar cases to yours and believe I could help you through the VAWA process successfully. Call me for a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 6/14/2011
Pacifica Legal Services
Pacifica Legal Services | Floyd Fernandez
I believe that you have sent this question a few days ago. I will tell you that the answer is the same. You have the ability to file for adjustment of status under VAWA, for mental cruelty is included in the items allowed to be claimed as grounds for a VAWA self-petition. I am available, but if you are the same person, your telephone number is identified as disconnected, after calls on Saturday and Monday (6/11 & 6/13). Please get in touch with me, so we can begin a more serious consultation and business relationship. I will send a PayPal request via e-mail from them, for the $50 consultation fee. But get in touch, so we can begin the process, for I am available now.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/14/2011
    Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law
    Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law | Theresa E. Tilton
    I don't think you qualify for VAWA relief. Nothing you listed is severe enough to meet the VAWA legal standard. Be careful about claiming that your husband "abandoned" you. Abandonment does not qualify as abuse for VAWA. Furthermore, you stated that you decided to move two hours away and that your husband paid for your apartment. Frankly, you do sound a bit childish to me. With record unemployment in the United States, your husband was working 12-14 hours daily, partly to support you, and your response was to complain that he did not see you frequently enough. I doubt whether you have any medical evidence that your water broke because of distress; likely it was just time for your child to be born. It is legal, usual, and customary that when a woman gives birth, her husband signs the birth certificate. Would you have preferred that your husband dispute that he is your child's father? If you are concerned that your husband will deprive you of access to your child (his child, too) then you need to consult a lawyer with experience in family law. If you are indeed here illegally, then you need immigration law advice as well.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Offices of Caro Kinsella
    Law Offices of Caro Kinsella | Caro Kinsella, Esq.
    Yes from what you have said it does seem you have a valid VAWA claim. VAWA is based on either mental or physical abuse. contact my office for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/14/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    So, self petition yourself and find out.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/14/2011
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