Child Support Payments Do Not Count Towards U.S. Citizen’s Obligation to Support Spouse
In a precedent decision, Judge Catherine C. Blake of the U.S. District Court of Maryland ruled that child support payments do not count towards a U.S. citizen's obligation under the Affidavit of Support. The Affidavit of Support, more commonly referred to as the I-864, is a contract between the United States citizen (USC)/sponsor and the immigrant spouse/beneficiary AND between the federal government and the United States citizen (USC)/sponsor. The contract requires the sponsor to maintain the beneficiary at an income level at least 125 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
In a published opinion, Judge Blake concluded:
"[Alimony] benefits are designed to supplement the beneficiary's income to pay for specific services … while child support is designed to meet the needs of the child," Blake wrote. "[C]hild support is a financial obligation to one's non-custodial child, not a monetary benefit to the other parent." Younis v. Farooqi, D. Md., Feb. 10, 2009.
As a result of the decision and based on federal poverty guidelines, Judge Blake calculated that in addition to the child support payments ordered by the State Court, the USC sponsor owed the beneficiary approximately $21,000 in support from 2006 through 2008.
Categories: Immigration Law