How Will My Immigration Status Affect My Family Law Matter? Answers from the Expert Family Law Attorneys at Lakeshore Law and Mediation of Grand Haven, MI

Legal Matters May Have An Impact On Your Immigration Status

Divorce and Domestic Violence actions can have very serious consequences in the family law setting. Violation of a PPO may cause a person to be deported. First:

  • What is the immigration status of you, your spouse, the parent of your child, and your child?
  • Do you/family member have a visa?
  • Conditional resident alien?
  • A non-citizen accused of criminal activity like Domestic Violence?
  • Have you with your spouse jointly signed an affidavit of Support?

What is a Visa?

A visa is a stamp issued by the Department of State to allow a non-citizen into the country. The visa has an expiration date and may have limitations with which the holder must comply. There are two types of visas, nonimmigrant and immigrant. A nonimmigrant visa is issued to person s for the purpose of work or visit but who do not intend to stay (student visas or temporary workers). Immigrant visas are issued for persons who wish to stay in the US permanently.

Once an immigration visa number is issued that person becomes a “Lawful Permanent Resident” (LPR also known as a green card). These visas are issued on a limited basis. A K-1 visa (nonimmigrant visa) can be converted to a lawful permanent resident based upon the marriage to a United States Citizen. Family Law lawyers may face a situation where the client or opposing party may have obtained LPR status by making a family petition. This requires a spousal relationship or some other close family tie.

Conditional Resident Alien

A conditional resident alien has been granted a two year period of permanent resident status based on a “qualifying” marriage to a US citizen. It’s important for your lawyer to assess your immigration status at the meeting when you hire your lawyer. You may wish to have your family lawyer and your immigration lawyer speak with one another about the important facts in your immigration journey.

Legal Matters May Put Your Immigration Status in Jeopardy - More from the Family Law Attorneys at Lakeshore Law and Mediation of Grand Haven, MIGrounds for Deportation

Some criminal convictions will cause deportation. Additionally, domestic violence, stalking, child abuse and neglect are deportable offenses. Multiple convictions of lesser infractions of the laws may also lead to deportation. Overstaying, unlawful presence, or being out of status may also lead to deportation.


An affidavit of support is always required to be filed if a citizen is bringing a relative to live in the US permanently. The US resident is legally required to provide financial support for the person(s) that they sponsor at a level no less than 125% of the federal poverty income level. If the parties divorce at some point down the line, the sponsor remains obligated to provide support “until the period of enforceability expires.”

Immigration Law and Family Law Intersect

It is of utmost importance to know how your status will affect your family law case. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is a governmental agency that decides administrative appeals and interprets immigration law. You can find its forms and check case status on the USCIS governmental website.

If you need assistance with family law matters, Lakeshore Law and Mediation can help! Contact us today, we are with you every step of the way.