Immigration Considerations for Prenups

Sep 22, 2022 | Florida Prenuptial Agreements, Prenuptial Agreements, Texas Prenups

Immigration Considerations for Prenups

Romantic comedies can teach us some important life lessons. For example, The Proposal, a 2009 breakout film, explores the challenges a U.S. citizen faces as they try to marry a non-citizen. Although Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds made it look easy, getting a prenup with someone who isn’t born in the United States can be challenging. Continue reading to learn more about what hurdles you will face with a non-citizen fiancé.

No matter what country your fiancé is from, you still need a prenup. At HelloPrenup, our goal is to ensure that every fiancé can protect their assets before they say, “I do”. We offer easy to complete state-specific forms that help you and your partner complete a legally valid prenuptial agreement. The forms are also printable, so if you choose to have an attorney review your document, that’s easy too! If you’re curious, learn more about us here. We look forward to helping you and your future spouse!

 

Marrying a Non-Citizen

Love is wonderful. You could fall in love at any moment. Isn’t it exciting to think that you could meet your soulmate while backpacking through Europe, during the summer you spent in the Caribbean, or on a trip to Japan? We all love the romance of it all, but we must also be practical. If you are a U.S. citizen and your spouse is not, and you plan to live in the states, consider the following before you sign a prenup and tie the knot.

If your fiancé is not a U.S. citizen, the immigration system will become a part of your life. If your spouse wants to work and live in the states permanently, there are some hoops that you must jump through. There are also some consequences that you face as the spouse with U.S. citizenship. It’s a lot, but to learn more, keep reading.

How Can My Spouse Get Lawful Status in the United States?

You want the best for your future spouse. You want them to be taken care of and for them to be able to pursue their dreams in the United States. Also, they’re leaving their home, and you two are building a new life. If your spouse wants to enjoy some of the freedoms afforded by living in the U.S., they need legal status to live and work in the United States.

What Is a Lawful Permanent Resident Spouse?

Because your spouse is marrying a United States citizen, they have the option to apply for Lawful Permanent Resident (LDR) status. You may know LDR better as a green card. Your spouse can live and work permanently in the United States with their LDR status.  After three years with LDR status, your spouse can apply for citizenship.

Your spouse needs your help to get Lawful Permanent Resident status. You will be asked to complete an Affidavit of Support To learn more about an Affidavit of Support, continue reading.

Affidavit of Support

An Affidavit of Support is a big deal. It is a Form I-864 and once you complete and sign it, you have entered a contract with the United States federal government. Yes, that’s right, a contract with the government.

When you sign an Affidavit of Support, you agree to accept financial responsibility for your spouse. You are essentially telling the government, “Hey, don’t worry. I will make sure that my spouse’s needs are taken care of. They won’t need government assistance.” That is a large burden that you are taking on and there are serious implications from entering into this agreement.

So, one thing you should know is that none of the obligations from an Affidavit of Support go away after a divorce. Yes, you are in this for the long haul. In fact, if your ex-spouse receives government assistance like food stamps, housing allowances, or Medicaid, you must repay the government. Luckily, you aren’t responsible for your ex-spouse’s needs forever. After they have worked in the United States for ten years or become a naturalized citizen, you’re off the hook for supporting them. Still, that’s a long time.

What Happens to My Prenup?

You should pay close attention to your prenup if your fiancé is not a citizen. Your new spouse will have LDR status, so your prenup may be limited in some ways. Sometimes, even if your spouse agrees to waive spousal support in your prenup, the federal government will come after you for support.

Fear not, there is a silver lining. You can include an agreement in your prenup that says your spouse agrees that you are not responsible for supporting them. While it’s great that this is an option, it is important that you keep in mind that this kind of agreement may not completely relieve your obligation to the federal government.

While you may have hurdles to overcome to avoid paying support for your ex-spouse, you can still include many other agreements in your prenup. You can still protect your assets if you earned money before you got married, for example. It is also possible for you and your spouse to come to an agreement on how your property will be divided if you decide to split. 

If you want to create a prenup at home, HelloPrenup can help. Our goal at HelloPrenup is to make getting a prenuptial agreement accessible to everyone without the need to hire an attorney. If you want to take your future into your own hands, check out what HelloPrenup has to offer here.

What About Prenups and Language Barriers?

Because your loved one was not born in the United States, you have the unique pleasure of overcoming a language barrier while you draft a prenup. Why is this important? Well, overcoming the language barrier issue is crucial because you and your spouse must understand the terms of the prenup. You run the risk of having the prenup invalidated in the future if you don’t understand it.

To protect your interests, it is a good idea to have an interpreter read the agreement to your non-native English speaking fiancé. To take it a step further, it may be a good idea to have an attorney review the agreement.

How Can HelloPrenup Help?

At HelloPrenup, our mission is to help engaged couples prepare for marriage by creating a valid prenuptial agreement. Hiring an attorney, meeting them at their office, and paying for their service can all be overwhelming. HelloPrenup has eliminated those concerns. With HelloPrenup, you and your fiancé can use one of our state-specific forms to create a prenup from the comfort of your home.

Imagine being able to sit down with your beloved at the kitchen table and talk over your agreement with love and compassion outside the sterile environment of an attorney’s office. HelloPrenup empowers everyday people to take charge of their own lives and get prepared for the legal implications of marriage comfortably and empathetically.

Congratulations on your engagement and good luck on your new journey! Click here for more information about our services. You should be as prepared as possible for every major life change, including marriage. We are here to support you in this step of your life. Check us out. We look forward to helping you, fiancé!

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. HelloPrenup, LLC (“HelloPrenup”) makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. HelloPrenup will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. These terms and conditions of use are subject to change at any time and without notice. HelloPrenup provides a platform for contract related self-help. The information provided by HelloPrenup along with the content on our website related to legal matters (“Information”) is provided for your private use and does not constitute legal advice. We do not review any information you provide us for legal accuracy or sufficiency, draw legal conclusions, provide opinions about your selection of forms, or apply the law to the facts of your situation. If you need legal advice for a specific problem, you should consult with a licensed attorney. Neither HelloPrenup nor any information provided by Hello Prenup is a substitute for legal advice from a qualified attorney licensed to practice in an appropriate jurisdiction.

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