If my friend has been married to a legal Hispanic for 9 years but he skips the country without a legal separation/divorce, can she still get government assistance?

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If my friend has been married to a legal Hispanic for 9 years but he skips the country without a legal separation/divorce, can she still get government assistance?

They have 3 children together and one he has raised as his own. He already left her once for a year and fathered another child in Mexico (he has continued this affair via phone and visits). When his wife brings up divorce/child support, he threatens to move back to Mexico to avoid the costs, despite having a very good paying job here. In order for his wife to receive gov’t assistance, they would need a legal separation. Is there anything she can do now to alert authorities that he might flee to avoid paying support?

Asked on July 17, 2014 under Immigration Law, Iowa

Answers:

SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

She should consult with a family attorney to see what her options are as far as getting child and spousal support from her husband.  What is her status in the US?  Is she a US citizen?  A permanent resident? Or is she an immigrant that is being petitioned by her husband?


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