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Thread: Divorce or annulment

  1. #1
    Back in 1994 to 2000, in Texas, I married an illegal immigrant TWICE - once before he divorced his wife in Mexico and once after, and went through the whole process - he obtained an unconditional green card. It went from romance to abuse and fear and obviously fraud in about the middle of the second year, but I was unable to find permanent escape. I cried in the INS interview, it never occurred to the interviewer to ask me why I was crying. He did not consider that it might be fraud for fear, but he DID ask me if I was getting paid! EVERY time I forgot how hostile and accusatory to ME the INS was, and called to ask for help, they would advise me RIGHT ON THE PHONE that I would be prosecuted for all the FEDERAL crimes I had committed if they took my complaint to pick up my spouse (transporting illegal alien, lying, etc.) so I gave up and let the experience consume my life and all my money for six years. I finally moved out of state after he got the unconditional card. I justified bearing the abuse (I even showed police reports of doemstic violence to the INS, but explained it away as I was "supposed" to do) philosophically by telling myself I deserved the punishment for getting involved with him in the first place. Now, I have checked my credit, it is ruined, he has used my name, and friends tell me he can get part of my retirement.
    I am a financially destitute teacher in Florida where the cost of living is high and the teacher wages are low.
    I am still legally married to the alien, now a legal resident ruining my credit in Texas as I live in Florida.
    Should I try to get a divorce or annulment?
    If I get an annulment can I qualify for a portion of my first husband's retireement again?
    Is it possible to get legal aid or low cost legal services for annulment ?
    How should I handle the TWO marriage dates in the divorce or annulment to make sure neither of them haunts me later on?

  2. #2
    Back in 1994 to 2000, in Texas, I married an illegal immigrant TWICE - once before he divorced his wife in Mexico and once after, and went through the whole process - he obtained an unconditional green card. It went from romance to abuse and fear and obviously fraud in about the middle of the second year, but I was unable to find permanent escape. I cried in the INS interview, it never occurred to the interviewer to ask me why I was crying. He did not consider that it might be fraud for fear, but he DID ask me if I was getting paid! EVERY time I forgot how hostile and accusatory to ME the INS was, and called to ask for help, they would advise me RIGHT ON THE PHONE that I would be prosecuted for all the FEDERAL crimes I had committed if they took my complaint to pick up my spouse (transporting illegal alien, lying, etc.) so I gave up and let the experience consume my life and all my money for six years. I finally moved out of state after he got the unconditional card. I justified bearing the abuse (I even showed police reports of doemstic violence to the INS, but explained it away as I was "supposed" to do) philosophically by telling myself I deserved the punishment for getting involved with him in the first place. Now, I have checked my credit, it is ruined, he has used my name, and friends tell me he can get part of my retirement.
    I am a financially destitute teacher in Florida where the cost of living is high and the teacher wages are low.
    I am still legally married to the alien, now a legal resident ruining my credit in Texas as I live in Florida.
    Should I try to get a divorce or annulment?
    If I get an annulment can I qualify for a portion of my first husband's retireement again?
    Is it possible to get legal aid or low cost legal services for annulment ?
    How should I handle the TWO marriage dates in the divorce or annulment to make sure neither of them haunts me later on?

  3. #3
    Annulment is EXTREMELY HARD TO WIN, specially if you have married this guy twice!

  4. #4
    Sunthia212:

    Annulment, were you to be able to prevail, would in essence mean that the marriages never existed, and would perhaps take you off thew hook for any sponsorship of the alien, which may still exist. It would however mean that you could lay no claim to any of his benefits.

  5. #5
    Synthia212:

    Based on what you have written about your relationship with your husband, I do not believe you qualify for an annulment under Texas law, which is where the marriage took place.

    Check the laws in Florida and see if you can get a divorce there. Different states have different rules about out-of-state Respondents in marriage dissolution cases. (I'm sure you can divorce him if you file in Texas, but you would need a Family Law attorney in the county where he lives.)

    But do something to end this. The longer you stay married to him, the more problems you are going to have.

    Okie Celt

  6. #6
    In order to get an annulment you'd need to prove that you were legally incapacitated or somehow deranged to make a legal decision on such a binding agreement as a marriage .. so in plain English; extremely unlikely!

    But you should get an immediate divorce and notify BCIS about the kind of marriage you two had over all these years. If you've been living seperately in different states, for God's sake!!, he should have a lot of trouble proving his bona fida intentions and even his LPR status. The domestic violence issues by themselves could be enough to endanger his status and possibly get him removed so that you wouldn't have to fear any reactions from him in this country anymore!

  7. #7
    Synthia212:

    FYI on the grounds of a legal annulment...

    The most common grounds for obtaining a judgment or decree of annulment are that (1) either party was under the legal age for marriage at the time the marriage was entered into, (2) that the marriage incestuous or that the parties are otherwise closely related under state law, and (3) that the marriage is bigamous.

    Physical/Mental Grounds
    There are also some physical and mental conditions that can prevent a marriage from being valid, depending on state law. These conditions include impotency, unsound mind, insanity and mental retardation. Some states permit an annulment if, at the time the marriage took place, a party to the marriage was a drug addict, a habitual criminal or a prostitute and disclosure of these circumstances was not made to the other party. Since marriage is considered to be a civil contract, non-disclosure or fraud may be the basis for annulling. Some states permit annulment of a marriage if the woman was pregnant with another man's child when the marriage was entered into.

    Coercion or Duress
    In some cases, coercion or duress can be a basis for annulment - the so-called "shot-gun wedding" is an example of coercion.

    Lack of Mental Capacity
    In order to enter into a valid marriage, the parties must have the same general mental capacity as is required to enter into a valid contract- that is, the ability to understand the nature and effect of the act he/she is performing. If, at the time the marriage is entered into, either of the parties lacks the requisite mental capacity due to intoxication, drug use or general mental illness, such incapacity may be the grounds for annulling the marriage.

  8. #8
    and...simply put....
    The other spouse had another husband or wife living at the time of the marriage;


    Either spouse was younger than sixteen at the time of the marriage and did not have court approval;


    Either spouse was sixteen or seventeen at the time of the marriage and did not have parental consent, as long as the annulment action is filed within 60 days after the marriage ceremony;


    Either spouse was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the marriage, as long as the annulment action is filed within 60 days after the marriage ceremony;


    Either spouse was mentally incompetent or unable to consent at the time of the marriage;


    One of them was threatened or forced to get married;


    One of them agreed to be married based on fraudulent statements or actions by the other spouse;


    One of them was physically and incurably impotent at the time of the marriage, unless the other spouse knew about the impotence before the marriage;


    The marriage is one that is prohibited by law due to the relationship between the parties.

    Grounds for annulment may be set forth by statute or, in many jurisdictions, common-law grounds suffice. The specific grounds at common law are:

    Undisclosed prior marriage: This occurs when a marriage is entered into by one party still married to third person. Many jurisdictions allow annulment even if the party seeking the annulment knew the:
    Person he or she was marrying had not been legally divorced or was denied the right to remarry after divorce.



    Violation of divorce decree or statute barring remarriage: Some statutes prohibit remarriage after divorce or within a certain time period after divorce or remarriage to a particular person. Violation of such statutes or divorce decrees to this effect are grounds for annulment.



    Marriage entered into with intention that it should not be binding; mock marriage; trial marriage:



    The majority rule states that a party to the marriage may seek annulment in a court of equity where the marriage results from levity, jest, no intention to bind or enter into relationship, or no intention to assume rights or responsibilities of marriage. Annulment makes the marriage void. An agreement to enter into a trial marriage where either party by agreement has the option to annul the marriage ceremony is performed "in jest." Where persons agree to marry to accomplish a desired objective (for example, legitimization of a child) the majority of courts will regard the marriage as valid and will not annul on this basis.



    Under age of consent: The jurisdiction to annul marriages by people who are not of legal age to consent at the time of marriage is generally conferred by statute. Some courts hold these statutes applicable even where residents of the state go to another state, have the ceremony performed, and immediately return to their former residence, although the marriage was valid where performed. Other courts hold that if the marriage was permissible under the law of the state where the ceremony was performed, it will not be annulled by courts of the domicile of the parties. Under most statutes, nonage does not itself constitute an absolute right to an annulment. The court may have discretion and the marriage remains valid for all civil purposes until a judicial decree of annulment is issued. Where the marriage is void by statute, the court retains no discretion.



    Proxy marriage: Some states recognize a proxy marriage even absent statutory authority. Other states do not recognize them other than as common-law marriage when followed by cohabitation and repute. A husband in the military may annul a proxy marriage if there is no consummation, no cohabitation, or no treatment as husband and wife after the marriage ceremony.



    Blood relationship; incestuous marriages are marriage between:



    parents and grandchildren,


    grandparents and grandchildren,


    brothers and sisters of half as well as whole blood,


    uncles and nieces of half as well as whole blood, aunts and nephews of half as well as


    whole blood, and


    first cousins of half as well as whole blood.

    A court may annul an incestuous marriage at request of either party to the marriage even though the applicant may have knowingly entered the marriage arrangement. However, courts of one state cannot, at the suit of either party, annul a marriage which was valid under the laws of another state on the ground that the marriage is contrary to domicile state's laws regarding blood relationship marriages.



    Mental incapacity: Courts examine whether any incapacity existed at the time of the marriage. If a court finds in the affirmative, the marriage may be annulled as void from the point of the judicial decree of nullity entered. There remains a split of authority as to whether concealment of one's mental incapacity warrants annulment of the marriage. Where concealment does provide a ground for annulment, the following factors are considered: whether affected spouse had knowledge of the actual condition and its seriousness, an intent to deceive, and absence of ratification by the innocent spouse after having learned the facts.


    Temporary insanity: If temporary or periodic insanity is claimed, the condition at the time of marriage governs whether or not capacity to marry was present. A marriage will not be annulled if entered into during a lucid interval. The degree of mental incapacity necessary to ground an annulment is incapacity sufficient to deprive a party of an understanding of the duties and relationship of marriage. Mere weakness of intellect remains insufficient.



    Intoxication: The complaining party must show intoxication at the marriage ceremony to such a degree as to render that person incapable of knowing the nature of the marriage contract and its consequences.

  9. #9
    Synthia212:

    So, your first marrige to your husband, while he was not yet divorced from his wife in Mexico, would have qualified for annulment - but that is a mute point. The second marriage may qualify for annulment if you could assert that it was coerced or you acted under duress, I would think. Certainly the intent to become legal on an immigration basis may also have influenced your husband to marry again..and that may be used as a fraudulent intent as well.

  10. #10
    talk to an attorney who knows both divorce AND immi law.
    Sweet Madame Belu

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