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Community property a minor concern for immigrant spouses

Regardless of where one's political affiliation lies, there can be no doubt that the current administration has shaken things up on the political landscape. For immigrants, concerns over Trump's immigration policies have caused a great deal of anxiety. According to family law professionals, there has been an uptick in the number of immigrants who are engaged to an American citizen and hoping to escalate their wedding timeframe. For those Louisiana couples, a prenuptial agreement may also be a desirable course of action, even though issues of community property are likely not on their minds at the moment.

Speeding up an engagement and including a prenup can have a number of unintended consequences. While marrying an American citizen is one path to a green card, that path is not without obstacles and is far from certain. The process of securing a green card includes a close examination of one's marriage by immigration officials. A rushed wedding and a prenuptial agreement could be interpreted as signs that the union is not legitimate.

There are other issues related to rushing a prenuptial agreement. If there is little time between the drafting of a prenup and the wedding, an argument can be made down the line that the document was signed under duress. That can lead to the entire prenup being thrown out of court.

For those in Louisiana who are planning to marry and seek a green card, it is important to take the time to move through that process properly. The urge to accelerate the timing is understandable, but there could be serious consequences for doing so. The best course of action is to work with a family law attorney who can guide the process forward, and who is familiar with issues of immigration and family law. For these couples, a prenuptial agreement might be a great option, even if community property is not at the top of their list of concerns at the moment.

Source: The Boston Globe, "Immigration fears lead to sped-up weddings -- and prenups", Katie Johnston, April 2, 2017

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