To begin with, a prenuptial agreement is a contract made between a couple getting married which typically sets forth how they will divide assets, property and income in the event the marriage breaks up. Many couples elect to enter into a prenuptial agreement before getting married.
The I-864 Affidavit of Support is a contract between the Sponsor of an Immigrant Visa and the US Government that requires the sponsor promise to provide whatever amount of financial support is needed to insure that the immigrant is financially taken care of by the Sponsor and that the Immigrant will not require government support. It is required for all CR1 Marriage Visas and when applying for an Adjustment of Status to become a Legal Permanent Resident of the US. Pursuant to the terms of the I-864 Affidavit of Support, if the sponsor fails to support the immigrant as required and the immigrant incurs debt or seeks financial assistance from the government, the sponsor can be held liable for the debt or the government’s assistance. In other wards, the government can sue the sponsor for reimbursement of any funds or expenses it incurs on behalf of the Immigrant.
The existence of a pre nuptial agreement does not affect or invalidate the terms of the I-864 Affidavit of Support. This is because the I-864 Affidavit is an agreement between the Sponsor and the US Government. It is seperate and distinct agreement from any contract the parties to a marriage may have entered into on their own.
In fact, the I-864 remains in affect until one of these factors occurs:
- The Immigrant is no longer a Legal Permanent Resident and has departed the US;
- The immigrant becomes a US Citizen;
- The Immigrant has worked for 40 quarters (10 years) of coverage under the Social Security Act.
- The Immigrant Dies
Now the issue of whether the I-864 Affidavit of Support impacts the terms or validity of the Prenuptial Agreement is a very different issue and can best be answered by an Attorney licensed in the state of your residence.
If you have any questions about the CR1 Marriage Visa, the I-864 Affidavit of Support or how to adjust your status to obtain your Legal Permanent Residency (LPR), you are welcome to call me anytime toll free at 1-888-515-3529.
Attorney Jeffrey C. Pettys