N-400: Failed to support your dependent

raghucp1

Registered Users (C)
I am in the process of filling N-400 application. I have a question regarding 'Failed to support your dependent'.

I got married in 2002.
I got Green Card in 2006.
I got divorce from my ex-wife from a US court in 2009. According to US court order(10/19/2009) I have to pay $100 per month towards my child support.

I sent several emails to my ex-wife(who has been living in India with her boy friend) to send bank account details so that I can send the money($100 per month) to her but there is no response from her. My child has been living with my in-laws.

After taking my attorney's suggestion, I opended a saving bank account in my name and my child as benificiary of that account and have been depositing $100 each month.

Please let me know ihow should I answer the question in N-400 application: Failed to support your dependents or pay alimony?
 

namecheckvictim

Registered Users (C)
USCIS might have a little problem with the saving account thing, they would rather have confirmation from a State's Child support agency or from the custodial parent.
Payment of Child support specially a court ordered support is a important part of establishing GMC.
Your attempt to deposit $100 in the saving account is considered a "Gift" under most of the State's law.
In my opinion seek guidance from the Child support agency in the state the court order was issued, you may arrange with them to pay them directly and let them worry about remitting it to the custodial parent.
 

Bobsmyth

Volunteer Moderator
Does the court order specify how the money is to be transfered?
Opening a bank account in your name and making your daughter beneficiary is not the same as making payments to your ex-wife,although it might be useful as evidence in case you were unsuccessful in trying to set up payment directly to your ex-wife.
What other measures besides e-mail have you tried in contacting your ex-wife? Have you tried sending her registered mail with a check?
You'll need to be able to present child support payment history at the interview in case the IO asks for it.
 

Jackolantern

Registered Users (C)
I sent several emails to my ex-wife(who has been living in India with her boy friend) to send bank account details so that I can send the money($100 per month) to her but there is no response from her.

Email is not good enough. You'll need to send something with better traceability so you'll have more solid evidence that you sent it and she received it.
 

raghucp1

Registered Users (C)
No, court order doesn't specify how the money is to be transferred. As my child is not a US citizen and never lived in US I can't open account in his name. So there is no way for me to set up a payment directly to my ex-wife.

I tried calling my ex-wife to get bank account details but I couldn't get.

Does the court order specify how the money is to be transfered?
Opening a bank account in your name and making your daughter beneficiary is not the same as making payments to your ex-wife,although it might be useful as evidence in case you were unsuccessful in trying to set up payment directly to your ex-wife.
What other measures besides e-mail have you tried in contacting your ex-wife? Have you tried sending her registered mail with a check?
You'll need to be able to present child support payment history at the interview in case the IO asks for it.
 

Jackolantern

Registered Users (C)
Do you know your ex-wife's address? If yes, send her a letter via private courier or registered mail, and keep the receipt with the tracking number. In the letter mention that there already is more than $1000 waiting for her (to spend on the child), in addition to the $100/month you will continue to send.

If you don't know her address, ask some of your friends and family to find out where she is. You have a legal right to know where your child lives.
 

Bobsmyth

Volunteer Moderator
No, I don't know their exact address.

Don't apply until you have proper evidence of payment history and/or that you have exhausted all avenues in contacting your ex-wife since any discrepancy will cause issues at interview.
 

BigJoe5

Registered Users (C)
8 CFR PART 316—GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR NATURALIZATION

§ 316.10 Good moral character.

(b) Finding of a lack of good moral character.

(3) Unless the applicant establishes extenuating circumstances, the applicant shall be found to lack good moral character if, during the statutory period, the applicant:

(i) Willfully failed or refused to support dependents;

You failure to pay is not willful.

See also: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/us...7e539dc4bed010VgnVCM1000000ecd190aRCRD&CH=itp

Interpretation 316.1 Naturalization requirements
(e) Good moral character.
(5) Nonsupport.
 

sanjoseaug20

Registered Users (C)
Despite BigJoe's certification of your situation as non-willful, I think the onus to prove this might fall on you. An IO may not be as considerate as BigJoe and could ask questions and hold the file until he/she is convinced.

As others advised, get / create evidence of your efforts to resolve this. Email may not serve as that proof.
 

Jackolantern

Registered Users (C)
For now, the answer is Yes.

If you say No, you'll have to provide proof of support, which you don't have at this time. To be able to say No, you'll need to contact her, send the back payment of $1500 for the money you owe since 10/2009, and continue to make payments. Or make an arrangement with the Child Services agency to pay it to the state, and let them worry about delivering it.

If you say Yes, you'll have to provide evidence that the failure was not willful. A weak attempt to contact her via email doesn't count.
 
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Al Southner

Registered Users (C)
what should I answer for the question:Failed to support your dependent. Yes or No?

Your approval will hang on needle and pins on this issue of child support. Unless you produce valid proof of child support, then USCIS is going to eat your lunch. Honesty is the only policy you should pursue with USCIS on this matter, lying will set you back 5 years.
 

raghucp1

Registered Users (C)
Yesterday I sent her registered mail, asking her to send me bank account details. Hope this is good enough to prove that my failure to pay is not willful.

For now, the answer is Yes.

If you say No, you'll have to provide proof of support, which you don't have at this time. To be able to say No, you'll need to contact her, send the back payment of $1500 for the money you owe since 10/2009, and continue to make payments. Or make an arrangement with the Child Services agency to pay it to the state, and let them worry about delivering it.

If you say Yes, you'll have to provide evidence that the failure was not willful. A weak attempt to contact her via email doesn't count.
 

Jackolantern

Registered Users (C)
Yesterday I sent her registered mail, asking her to send me bank account details. Hope this is good enough to prove that my failure to pay is not willful.

By itself it won't be enough. You'll have to show multiple unsuccessful attempts spread out over time, and you shouldn't be asking for her bank account details. If I were divorced I wouldn't want to give my bank account details to my ex. You should be asking her how she wants to receive the money ... Paypal, international money order, etc. And tell her how much money is already waiting (the $1500 back payment).

If that still fails to produce a payment arrangement, work with your lawyer and the state to set up something that you can pay into. Maybe a trust fund with the child as the beneficiary, or some other agreement where you'll make the payment to the state and they'll worry about how to deliver it.

Face reality -- if she doesn't cooperate, it will take months to set up the arrangement or accumulate enough proof of failed serious attempts to make an arrangement.
 
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Al Southner

Registered Users (C)
Yesterday I sent her registered mail, asking her to send me bank account details. Hope this is good enough to prove that my failure to pay is not willful.

You are living in another planet, you need to be much more aggressive on this issue.
 

raghucp1

Registered Users (C)
What documents I have to submit along with N-400 application. I am submitting:

1. N-400 application, photographs, cheque
2. Divorce decree.
Do I have to send any more documents.
 

Jackolantern

Registered Users (C)
You don't have evidence of making the payments, nor evidence of thorough efforts to make payments. So your N-400 will be denied if you apply soon.
 
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