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Woman cites immigration affidavit in Texas alimony lawsuit

Families with mixed immigration statuses may be interested in a rare spousal support case unfolding in Texas. A woman who was born in Mexico is suing her ex-husband, a U.S. citizen, for alimony.

The woman says her ex-husband owes her support because he signed an immigration affidavit agreeing not to let her become, in the eyes of the law, a "public charge." In other words, she says he is obliged to provide spousal support because the affidavit says he will ensure that she won't become impoverished.

Just to clarify: when a U.S. citizen wants to marry a non-U.S. citizen, then the citizen -- the sponsor, in this case -- can petition for his or her fiancée to receive a K visa. Applying for this kind of visa can involve filing an affidavit of support, which requires the U.S. citizen not to simply abandon the other party to poverty and allow him or her to depend on government assistance.

In this case, the woman moved from Mexico in 2003, and she and the man had a daughter. Six years after the woman's arrival, the divorce was finalized.

She remarried, however, and then divorced her second husband.

Now she is suing her first husband in federal court, claiming that he failed to provide the support he agreed to in the immigration affidavit.

This particular kind of claim is rare in divorce disputes. Most people file away the K visa affidavit and forget about it.

Still, it will be interesting to see how this case unfolds, both in terms of immigration law and family law.

To learn more about Texas alimony, please visit our Houston spousal support site.

Source: FOX News Latino, "Unique Texas Divorce Case Highlights Little-Known Immigration Clause," Aug. 13, 2013

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