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Prenup overruled in immigrant's divorce

Divorce can be quite unpleasant for Colorado couples, especially if there is a contentious relationship between those involved. The use of a prenuptial agreement to avoid such battles in the future is becoming more common today, even among younger couples. However, a recent case involving a woman whose husband-to-be sponsored her through immigration has resulted in parts of a prenup being thrown out.

The husband sponsored his future wife from Turkey and used form I-864 to affirm that he would provide sufficient support. In addition, the couple executed a prenuptial agreement that would foreclose any alimony rights for either party in case of divorce. The marriage took place in 2009 but ended in divorce in 2011. The woman reportedly received $3,500 from her ex-husband for moving, but his support ceased after the separation.

The woman sued because of her ex-husband's failure to follow through on his spousal support affidavit. He countered that the support provided by her son was sufficient to meet federal standards and that the prenup canceled any need for post-marital support. While a lower court affirmed that the woman was sufficiently supported by her son, the Ninth Circuit of California ruled that the sponsor was not relieved of his obligation as outlined in the I-864 form. As a result, he was ordered to continue supporting the woman.

Issues related to family law can be very complex. Even the most simple cases can result in different understandings of certain outcomes, especially if spousal or child support is involved. It may be helpful to have the insight of an attorney throughout such proceedings to ensure that a court order is legally enforceable and clearly understood.

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Cooper, Tanis & Armas, P.C.
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Broomfield, CO 80020