Divorce process following green card marriage.

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Is where short cut for divorce process for a divorce after green card marriage?

Summary Dissolution can be considered as alternative for usual . Usual process of divorce could be complicated and costly. 

People hope for a happy marriage, no matter how unusual the circumstances of their meeting are. There is no mystery that international marriages (informally called “green card marriages”) have a double purpose – the main purpose is, of course, to build a healthy family relationship and the secondary purpose is to become a permanent USA resident.

If the marital relationship eventually does not succeeded and a couple decides to terminate the marriage, they come  to our legal document assistant (LDA) office asking to help with divorce documents. Usually, the most efficient way to go is to file a ” summary dissolution” instead of a regular divorce.


The Judicial Council of California has a booklet detailing a summary dissolution, including instructions and the joint petition for dissolution requires that each party attest that they have read and understood the Summary Dissolution Information booklet (Form FL-810). This booklet and all forms can be found on the California Courts website.

Divorce after green card and possible consequences

Divorce after green card could trigger some consequences for your immigration status. The consequences depends whether you have conditional or permanent green card, whether you are applying for permanent green card, whether  your application has been approved and other factors. we strongly recommend to get an attorney  advice if you are considering divorce after green card. The purpose of this article is to provide to you a overview of general information from the Court websites and on the official website for US citizenship and Immigration services

Your Eligibility for Naturalization might be effected by divorce after green card.  If you are applying for US Citizenship on the basis of marriage to a U.S. citizen for three years, your time line for application will be longer than three years. Click here to see the requirements for application.


For individuals seeking a divorce after a green card marriage, understanding the available options and potential consequences is crucial. The process of divorce can indeed be complex and costly, but there are mechanisms in place that can provide a more streamlined approach. One such mechanism is the Summary Dissolution.

Summary Dissolution: An Overview

Summary Dissolution is a simplified divorce process available in California for couples who meet specific criteria. It is designed to be a less complicated and less expensive alternative to the usual divorce process. To be eligible for Summary Dissolution, couples must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Have been married for less than 5 years
  • Have no children together born or adopted before or during the marriage (except for certain exceptions)
  • Do not own any part of land or buildings
  • Do not rent any land or buildings (except for certain lease agreements)
  • Have less than a certain amount in marital property
  • Have less than a certain amount in separate property
  • Agree on how their possessions and debts will be divided
  • Waive any rights to spousal support

Couples interested in this process must both agree to the dissolution and jointly file a petition. They must also attest to having read the Summary Dissolution Information booklet (Form FL-810), which provides detailed instructions and requirements. This booklet and the necessary forms are available on the California Courts website.

Divorce After Green Card: Immigration Implications

Divorcing after obtaining a green card can have significant implications for one’s immigration status, particularly if the green card is conditional. The status of the green card (conditional vs. permanent) and the timing of the divorce (before or after applying for permanent residency) are critical factors that can influence one’s immigration future.

  • Conditional Green Card Holders: If you have a conditional green card based on marriage, you are typically required to file a joint petition with your spouse to remove the conditions on your residence. A divorce can complicate this process, but it is possible to file a waiver petition as a divorced individual.
  • Permanent Green Card Holders: If you already have a permanent green card at the time of divorce, your status is generally not directly affected by the divorce itself. However, divorce may impact the timeline and eligibility for naturalization, especially if you were planning to apply based on marriage to a U.S. citizen.

Seeking Legal Advice

A green card marriage carries with it the potential for divorce and the downfalls that come with it, especially when considering immigration issues and the eligibility for naturalization. Two attorneys would be best: one attorney very experienced in immigration law and another attorney who is experienced in family law. This should keep in mind the individual advice and guidance your case, legal professional, and make sure the smoothest transition possible in both the divorce proceedings and any immigration consequence from them.

Therefore, while Summary Dissolution does introduce a pathway to a “shortcut” for a few eligible couples, the implications of divorce following a green card marriage run deep, and divorce from a green card marriage is only one part of the complex web of implications of immigration statuses. It does indeed behoove one to approach the process well-researched and legally advised.

It is highly important, then, that they understand the implications for the differences within family law and the implications regarding immigration for anyone who is to sort out the many complications of a divorce after a green card marriage. Although some streamlined processes are offered to eligible couples, options like Summary Dissolution offer benefits, though they may have broader ramifications toward immigration status for future applications such as naturalization, for which some cautionary consideration and strategic planning would be warranted.

Further Considerations for Summary Dissolution Eligibility Couples considering Summary Dissolution should be sure to review all eligibility criteria thoroughly and determine their eligibility by California law. The simplified process still requires mutual agreement on the final decree terms of dissolution, including the division of property and debts.

A couple is warned to take time, using the resources presented by California Courts, so they know what is entailed in a Summary Dissolution.

Navigating Immigration Concerns

It is difficult enough for the process of immigration and divorce to conflate with the holder of a conditional green card. Yet, there are more things to consider.

Conditional Green Card and Divorce: Usually, a conditional green card holder has to file a joint petition with the spouse for the removal of conditions. Where divorce has occurred, such a person should file a waiver to remove the conditions on his or her residence as the only petitioner, proving that the marriage was not bad faith.

– Impact on Naturalization: It extends the residency requirement beyond what may be necessary for eligibility for naturalization for three to five years for anyone pursuing naturalization based on marriage to a U.S. citizen and divorce. Most importantly, there should be documentation with respect to marriage and the bona fide nature through the process of naturalization.

Seeking Professional Guidance

In this connection, the stakes are too high when it comes to matters of immigration. Paraphrasing: In such a case, do the stakes justify seeking family law advice from professionals in both fields and from a potentially high divorce

Consultation with an Immigration Attorney: It would probably be a good idea to consult with an Immigration Attorney regarding how divorce is going to impact your current status, conditional residence, and chances for naturalization.

They can guide you through filing the necessary waivers and petitions to protect your residency in the United States.

Family Law Attorney: Processing a Summary Dissolution would not go amiss in consultation with, and attorney from family law to ensure that agreements made are equitable and do, in fact, adhere to California law. They may also assist in preparing litigants should any portion of the divorce later become contested and may be helpful in advising about contested issues.

Preparing for the Future

As you navigate the divorce process, it’s also essential to prepare for life post-divorce, including:

– Personal Document Update: All personal documents will have to be updated appropriately after divorce, and these may include wills, insurance policies, and retirement accounts. Financial Planning: You should consider seeking help from a financial advisor on how a divorce can impact your financials, especially the property acquired during marriage and any changes to tax liabilities too.

Emotional and Community Support

The emotional toll one has to bear for going through a divorce, more so when its relation to immigration comes into the picture, is colossal. You can also obtain community groups, counselors, or therapists who understand the ins and outs of what you are going through and may be of help as a source of solace and advice. Conclusion That following a green card marriage, it calls for these dual considerations—care and thought regarding the family law in relation to the implications it has with regard to immigration, basically, a serious issue. Understanding these options, including the Summary Dissolution, and possible impacts on the immigration status, while seeking professional advice might arm a person to go through with this. The decisions that you make now have permanent implications concerning your legal status and personal well-being, and therefore they must be taken upon due consideration and thought.




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