NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued July 9, 2013
On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Hudson County, Docket No. FM-09-1865-11.
Frank C. Babcock argued the cause for appellant.
Gregory G. Diebold argued the cause for respondent (Northeast New Jersey Legal Services Corp., attorneys; Mr. Diebold, of counsel and on the brief).
Before Judges Ashrafi and St. John.
Plaintiff-husband, Zahoor Ahmed Choudry, appeals from the provision of a judgment of divorce that orders him to pay $262 in weekly support to defendant-wife, Sobia Zahoor Choudry. We affirm.
The marriage was arranged in Pakistan before the parties met each other. In the United States, it did not endure. The Family Part held a divorce trial in March 2012, at which the only witnesses were husband and wife.
Husband is a citizen of the United States. He was divorced from his first wife, with whom he had three children. He notified his family members that he wished to remarry. In accordance with practices in Pakistan, a marriage was arranged by family members of both parties with the assistance of a marriage service.
Husband and wife spoke on the telephone and exchanged pictures. He was then forty-five years old, and she twenty-six. In October 2008, husband traveled to Pakistan and met wife for the first time on the date of their wedding. After the wedding ceremony, the couple spent four days together in Pakistan for their honeymoon, and then husband returned alone to the United States. He pursued immigration papers for wife to join him in this country.
As part of the immigration requirements, husband filed an affidavit of support with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in July 2010. The sponsorship affidavit, Form I-864EZ, included husband's promise to provide financial support for wife equaling 125% of the federal guidelines for the poverty level of income. The form stated the circumstances under which husband would be relieved of the obligation to support wife, expressly indicating that divorce was not such a circumstance.
Wife obtained a visa and came to the United States in December 2009. The parties disputed in their testimony at trial whether discord in the marital home then arose as a result of husband's parenting time with his three children from the prior marriage.
In December 2010, wife obtained a "green card, " thus documenting her as a legal permanent resident of the United States. In January 2011, she traveled to Canada to visit her sister, and she stayed there for five weeks. When she returned, the marriage quickly broke down. Wife sought a domestic violence restraining order against husband, which the Family Part denied ...