What financial responsibilities will I have if my wife petitions her parents? 2 Answers as of June 15, 2011

My wife is petitioning to bring her parents from Russia to the USA. I will not sign the petition. Will I have any financial responsibility towards their support?

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Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law
Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law | Theresa E. Tilton
I don't blame you for not wanting to sign the Affidavits of Support. It's a big responsibility. In most states, spouses are responsible for each other's debts. This means, as a practical matter, that even if you do not sign the Affidavits of Support, you will be a guarantor of your wife's support of her parents. You will support your wife, even as she pours all of her energy into supporting her parents. There is another problem here: are your in-laws capable of employment here in the USA? If they have no marketable skills and especially if they do not know English well, you may find yourself greatly encumbered.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/15/2011
World Esquire Law Firm
World Esquire Law Firm | Aime Katambwe
No, not officially. But you will only to the extent that community property will be used towards their support. To be clear, the US government will ask that you declare your willing support of that application in Form I-864A, which I suppose you will not sign. Therefore, visvis the government you will not be responsible at all. All I am saying is that if yours and your wifes resources are commingled, then some of your money will go towards their support, thats all. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/14/2011
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