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What is a “Sham Marriage” in Georgia?

Although marriage is supposed to be a formal and serious decision, many couples get married in a fairly casual manner. Marriage is not exactly what it used to be, especially since it is no longer seen as a permanent commitment. It is no secret that roughly half of all marriages end in divorce or separation. With all that said, there is a difference between a casual, non-committed marriage and one that is invalid or illegal. These are sometimes referred to as “sham marriages” in Georgia. But what happens if you engage in a “sham marriage?” What kinds of consequences could you face in this situation?

If you are dealing with a possible sham marriage, it makes sense to get in touch with a family law attorney in Georgia as soon as possible. Our legal professionals are experienced in legal matters related to marriages. With our assistance, you can prove that your marriage is legitimate, and you can also avoid potential legal consequences. 

What is a Sham Marriage?

The term “sham marriage” specifically refers to a marriage that is intended to help individuals with immigration issues. This is a marriage that is not made “in good faith,” and one that contributes to immigration fraud. If you engage in this type of marriage, you face felony charges. This could result in a prison sentence of five years, plus a fine of up to $250,000. That being said, immigrants are still free to marry US citizens — but only if the relationship is legitimate and valid. If you engage in this type of marriage, it will be heavily scrutinized by the US government, and you will likely need to provide evidence that the marriage is in fact legitimate. 

What Happens if I Commit Marriage Fraud in Georgia?

If you commit marriage fraud in Georgia, you may face serious legal consequences. In March of 2021, the Department of Justice reported that a Georgia man had been sentenced to eight months in prison for committing marriage fraud. He had approached a panhandler on the street with an offer to marry one of his acquaintances in return for a cash payment. He also promised to provide her with housing and a vehicle. After the marriage, the acquaintance transferred $1,000 to her bank account. They subsequently applied for a green card together and testified under oath that they were married in good faith. In the end, he entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to commit marriage fraud. All three individuals involved in this scheme were eventually charged with conspiracy to commit marriage fraud. 

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the Georgia area for a qualified family law attorney, look no further than Lankford & Moore Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous spouses with all kinds of legal issues related to marriages. With our help, you can tackle your legal issues with confidence. Although sham marriages can pose real problems for individuals in Georgia, we can help you deal with this situation and mitigate any potential consequences you might be facing. Book your consultation today.

I realized the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder. The lesson was so indelibly burnt into me that a large part of my time during the twenty years of my practice as a lawyer was occupied in bringing about private compromises of hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby — not even money, certainly not my soul.

Mahatma Gandhi

Lankford & Moore Law in Downtown Lawrenceville

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