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Is it necessary to tell my immigration lawyer that my wife was originally a first cousin? it is legal to marry in our State.

Atlanta, GA |

is it necessary to tell my lawyer that my wife is also my first cousin? we do not enjoy the feeling of being looked at strangely. We have always been pre-judged once people hear that. Also, lawyers may feel that the marriage is not a true one and may not want to take the case. I can swear that it is, real but we hate the feeling of people pre-judging us. So is it necessary to tell? I wouldnt lie if someone asks me but if they dont, should i actively contribute that info? how does it affect the case? we are adjusting status through marriage to US citizen

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer
Posted

Any immigration attorney attorney you engage will be an advocate for you and your spouse, and will have no interest in judging a couple based upon their family relationship prior to marriage. Beyond that, experienced immigration attorneys will be accustomed to representing people from nations and cultures where marriage to cousins is not uncommon. An attorney that you and your spouse engage for representation should be made aware of ALL issues that are of concern to you, with full confidence that all information supplied to the attorney will be kept in strict confidence and also will be treated as privileged (meaning that generally the attorney cannot even be compelled to reveal information that you supply). Finally, a marriage that is valid where it is celebrated (where it takes place), generally will be recognized as valid for immigration purposes.

Although the forms related to marriage-based adjustment of status do not ask whether the two spouses had a family relationship prior to marriage, the subject legitimately could be raised during a USCIS adjustment of status interview, for example, in discussions about how the couple met.

It would be wise to engage an immigration attorney with whom you feel comfortable, and to confidentially discuss ALL issues of concern.

[Note: Consistent with Avvo policy, this communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.]

David N. Soloway
Frazier, Soloway & Kennedy, P.C.
1800 Century Place, Suite 100
Atlanta, Georgia 30345 www.fspklaw.com
404-320-7000 * 1-877-232-5352 * dsoloway@fspklaw.com

[Note: Consistent with Avvo policy, this communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.] David N. Soloway Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, P.C. 1800 Century Place, Suite 100 Atlanta, Georgia 30345 www.fspklaw.com 404-320-7000 * 1-877-232-5352 * dsoloway@fspklaw.com

Asker

Posted

A very good and detailed response. But wouldn't admitting to my lawyer and uscis that we are cousins make the case more difficult? Wouldn't they naturally assume that this was just for a green card and subject us to further screening, interrogation and questioning? Isn't this reality?

Reid A Seino

Reid A Seino

Posted

It is easier for your attorney to handle things if he is given the heads up by you that there is a situation that needs his attention. If you fail to bring it up, and the government finds out, your attorney has little to no opportunity to prepare and you may not only lose your case, you may suffer penalties for it. The above attorney has laid out a very eloquent and thought-out response. Please take it to heart and discuss this matter with your attorney. I know the reaction you have gotten in the past may have made you hesitant to discuss this matter (as it has given me pause too, I will admit) but your attorney is your advocate and he will work through it in a professional manner. You have trusted him to help you with this matter, why stop? Help him help you.

Posted

You need to contact a Georgia family law attorney to know if it is legal to marry your first cousin. Failure to disclose facts can lead to a denial of an application.

Alexus P. Sham alexuspshamesq@gmail.com (917) 498-9009. The above information is only general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. It does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Posted

You should feel comfortable with your attorney enough to tell him all the facts of your case. The attorney-client relationship is one of confidence and trust. If your attorney knows all the facts of your case they will be in a better position to carry out the representation.

Ana I. Forcum, Esq.
www.dallas-immigrationlawyer.com

Posted

Though you have correctly identified the issue (whether the marriage is legal/not contrary to public policy), it would be wise to disclose this fact to your lawyer in case there are any questions by USCIS. Certainly they will ask you how you met, etc... and your lawyer should not be hearing this for the first time during your interview. Hopefully, as my colleagues have noted, you have a solid relationship with your attorney. Let him or her know--immigration lawyers are pretty well exposed to different cultures and not too judgmental. Maybe you will be pleasantly surprised.

This answer provides only general information and may not be relied on as legal advice. For more information about immigration law and policy, please visit www.lichterimmigration.com or follow us on twitter (@lauralichter) or facebook, www.facebook/lichterimmigration. To find an immigration lawyer in your area, log on to www.ailalawyer.com. Listed attorneys have been members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the nation's premier bar association for immigration lawyers, for at least two years, comply with annual continuing legal education (CLE) requirements and carry malpractice insurance.