“I was born in Mexico and I met and married my wife, a U.S. Citizen, two years ago. She filed a Petition for Alien Relative for me and it was approved a few months ago. Now we are getting a divorce and she is accusing me of ‘marrying her for the papers’ and threatening to have me deported. How will this impact our pending divorce?”

“My husband and I have four children. I am a permanent resident but he never got his papers. He has left the house and I need child support. He is working illegally. Am I entitled to child support?”

“My spouse and I separated. I am a native of Sierra Leone and she is a native of Ghana. We both travel home to spend time with our families at least once a year. Now that we are getting divorced, she refuses to let me travel home with our children. Can she do that?”

Parties who do not have status or who are conditional or lawful permanent residents of the United States are subject to the Immigration and Naturalization Act and a dissolution of marriage, or even a separation, may impact his/her ability to proceed with an application for lawful permanent residence, conditional residence or U.S. Citizenship. Marriage fraud can bar an immigrant from a future adjustment of status based on a new and separate petition therefore it is important to utilize an attorney with a knowledge and understanding of the interplay between immigration law and divorce law. Julie has a background in immigration law and can advise immigrants regarding their rights in the Illinois circuit courts, the impact of the potential divorce judgment terms on their status and how to best address spouses who use intimidation to attempt to obtain a better divorce settlement.