Vasconcelos v. Vasconcelos
A party who sponsors the entrance into the United States of the other party’s children is not responsible to pay child support for those children. The parties married in June 2006 and have one minor child together. The husband, who is from Brazil, became a United States citizen. In 2011, the wife sponsored the entrance of the husband’s children from an earlier relationship into the United States. In 2013, the husband filed to dissolve the marital relationship and requested exclusive possession of the marital residence, alimony and child support for his children from his earlier relationship. Currently, the husband, who has an earning capacity of $600 per week as a personal trainer, in not employed and receives $349 per week in unemployment benefits. The wife, who earns $1,442 gross per year, working at a pharmaceutical company, moved for custody and child support. The wife maintained that although she sponsored their entrance into the United States, she is no longer responsible for the husband’s children from his earlier relationship. "[U]nder immigration law," wrote the court, "her obligation would terminate as the children are under 18, the father is a U.S. citizen and they all reside in the United States." Although the wife resides with relatives, her expenses for vacations, clothes and entertainment are "inflated." The court awarded joint custody of the parties’ minor child, with primary residence with the mother and visitation with the father on alternate weekends. The court ordered the father to pay child support of $92 per week and 50 percent of unreimbursed medical expenses. The court ordered the wife to pay alimony of $150 per week. The court ordered the parties to sell the marital residence and awarded the husband exclusive possession.