The D-word has a whole new meaning when it comes to the couples on 90 Day Fiancé.

While most married people try to avoid divorce at all costs, some of the stars of TLC's hit reality series are worried about something even more serious: deportation. 

Still, the show's track record in its previous five seasons has been surprisingly good.  

"Our batting average on this show is that out of every 25 couples on 90 Day Fiancé, we've only had three divorces," the show's executive producer Matt Sharp boasted last summer. "That's less than 10% and the current U.S. (divorce) rate is over 40%. It's one of the reasons why people love this show, it's so unexpected."

Unfortunately, season six's couples are knocking that average down a bit, as two pairs have already started divorce proceedings, while another is separated. 

Colt Johnson filed for divorce from Larissa Dos Santos Lima after secretly marrying seven months prior, as well as an affidavit of resident witness and a request for issuance of joint preliminary injunction.

The filing came after two incidents involving the police for the couple. Larissa was arrested for alleged domestic battery in November, going onto publicly accuse Colt of cheating on her the following month. While Clark County District Attorney dismissed the domestic battery case, Larissa was charged with misdemeanor battery, domestic violence following an apparent fight between the couple on the same day Colt filed for divorce.

Following Colt's filing, Larissa started a GoFundMe page to help "with her new start," with the funds raised going to immigration and divorce attorney fees, along with basic living expenses for two months.

The page, which is no longer accepting donations after achieving its goal of $5,000, explained, "She is getting divorce and she is still not allowed to work in the United States. She did not get paid for the show because she does not have a work permit yet. At this time, she has no financial support."

E! News sat down with immigration attorney Edward Shulman of the Shulman Law Group to get a legal opinion on how Colt and Larissa's tumultuous divorce could play out. 

"If Larissa can show that she is a victim of domestic violence, then she can self-petition for a green car stating that she a victim of violence under the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) act and she can then get a green card herself without having the sponsorship of Colt," Schulman, who does not legally represent any of the 90 Day cast, explained to us. "However, if she is deemed to be the one who is the aggressor who gets convicted of domestic violence she could be placed  in deportation proceedings and possibly deported from the United States.  "

Larissa Dos Santos Lima


While it's still "too early" to tell how the Colt and Larissa situation will play out, Schulman said, he did offer his legal advice to both parties.

"if she came into my office, I would say that if she really feels that she is a battered spouse, she should start gathering proof of the good faith marriage, get a psychological evaluation of herself to show that she has suffered trauma, if there  are police reports, get those, get pictures, all those can prove that not only was it a good faith relationship, but that she is battered  spouse."

And for Colt, Shulman said, "I would do exactly the same thing that Larissa is doing, which is getting pictures...he doesn't need to get the psychological evaluation obviously, but he would get the police reports and so forth to pursue criminal proceedings against Larissa." 

For 90 Day Fiancé couples, the international stars do not receive any compensation for appearing on the show because they don't have a green card, making it illegal for the show to pay someone.

And if they don't have a green card yet, it also impact the divorce proceedings, as it can take anywhere between four month to a year and a half to be granted one after marriage depending on how busy the jurisdiction is, according to Shulman.

"If they haven't gotten a green card yet, if the divorce happens prior to them being granted the green card, then they are out of luck for the green card through that spouse," Schulman told E! News.

However, there is a special case: "If the first spouse is still willing to issue an affidavit of support, which is saying that they are willing to monetarily support them, then they can still get a green card either through that spouse or through a different mechanism. It's rarely seen, especially if someone is getting divorced…they tend not to want to pursue or help that person anymore."

During their final argument, Larissa, showing a seemingly bloody face, posted a series of since-deleted photos and videos on Instagram, saying, "I'll be deported…I just scratch him because he was hurt me...I'm really hurt, but he called the police first."

According to Schulman, Larissa's arrests could also play into any deportation proceedings.

"With Larissa, the criminal aspect can also, if she's convicted of it… with domestic violence that can also trigger deportation proceedings," he explained. "So that brings it into a whole different realm."

So for the international stars, the No. 1 priority is getting a green card, which would allow them to stay in the United States regardless if the marriage falls apart "as long as they can establish that they entered into the marriage in good faith."

Of course, 90 Day's most infamous split tackled that topic head-on, with season two's Danielle Mullins and Mohamed JBali.

Danielle, Mohamed, 90 Day Fiance, Where Are They Now

After meeting in an online chat room, Mohamed moved to Ohio from Tunisia to marry Danielle…but it was rocky from the beginning for the couple. And two months after receiving his green card, Mohamed left Danielle, moving to Miami.

During season two of Happily Ever After, fans watched as Danielle attempted to get her ex-husband deported, using his conversations with other women during their marriage as evidence.    

Danielle attempted to annul the marriage in order to get her ex-husband deported, but she ultimately divorced him in 2017, which ultimately helped him remain in the country.

"I felt used, so I filed for an annulment. That was my best chance to get him deported," she said on the show. "But when he begged me to file for a divorce instead, I gave in so he could stay in America."

However, in December 2018, Danielle addressed Mohamed's citizenship on Instagram Stories, alleging he could "still get deported" as the "application he had to file to remove his conditions in order to get [his] ten-year card is backlogged." Still, he would be able to appeal the ruling.

Mohamed is currently living in Austin, Texas, and started a YouTube channel.  

So how do you prove someone entered the marriage with bad faith? 

"Red flags that could come out if a person is solely trying to get a green card through marriage would be if there's a huge difference, if there's a lot of previous marriages where the person has tried the same thing, if a person says it was not a good faith marriage on either side of that, if there's proof that someone paid the other one to get married," Schulman listed. "There's a lot of factors that can come into play."

Molly, Luis, 90 Day Fiance, Where Are They Now

Fans watched in season five as Molly Hopkins had her boyfriend Luis Mendez move into her home in Georgia after falling in love with him when he was working as a bartender in the Dominican Republic. He was 15 years younger than her and her teenage daughter did not approve of their romance.

After continuing to document their marriage journey in Happily Ever After, the couple split in January 2018 after six months of marriage, with their divorce being finalized in May.

And on the show, Molly was shocked to learn she was still considered financially responsible for Luis when she met with an immigration attorney.

"The divorce is simple enough, but just because you get a divorce, that's not sufficient reason for USCIS to deny him his green card," the lawyer explained. "You signed that affidavit of support and that affidavit of support means if he needs any government funding—if he goes into a hospital and has to get Medicaid—you're on the hook for 10 years."

However, Luis was pretty quick to move on, remarrying just five months after his divorce was finalized. He confirmed the news to In Touch, saying, "I love this girl so much. She is so amazing."

Following their divorce, Molly opened up to E! News about feeling "scammed" by Luis. 

"As far as Luis and I, we're divorced and he is remarried which leads me to believe he totally scammed me to get here on my money even though we were together for almost two years prior. People think I am jealous according to social media, but I really am not," she said. "I am more upset about the fact that someone would do this to a person who takes care of their kids by them self and is self-employed. I think it is really a devilish move to scam people like that where hearts and kids are involved. I do not wish ill will towards him because I want to continue to receive my blessings, but I do want the truth about the situation to prevail because I am a good person."

But Molly could have the final say in their relationship even if Luis has moved on, according to Schulman as "Luis will have a problem getting a green card through the new spouse if Molly does not want to continue that affidavit of support from the original application. If she wants to continue it, he'll be eligible to get a green card through the first application, but through the new wife, he would have to depart the United States and start fresh." 

90 Day Fiance


The latest divorce drama to rock the franchise is the news that Ashley Martson filed for divorce from Jay Smith, but E! News has learned that she later withdrew the paperwork. At the end of the season, Ashley discovered Jay, 20, was talking to other women on a dating app, which she discovered just three days after their wedding in Las Vegas. 

Struggling with the decision of whether or not to stay with Jay, who she met in Jamaica on vacation, Ashley talked about how complicated the situation was when her friend said she shouldn't have to worry about where he would live if she kicked him out of their house.

"Technically it's my problem, where he goes," Ashley said. "Because if he goes somewhere and does anything, gets in trouble, that's all my problem then."

And in a sitdown interview during the episode, an emotional Ashley, who has two children from previous relationships, talked about serious ramifications of bringing a significant other to the United States.

"It's not so easy when you are going through the K-1 visa process," she explained, "Because I signed my life away to get him here. And ultimately, until he is back on Jamaican soil, I am fully responsible for him as if he was a third child."

According to Schulman, this is true...for the most part.

"The petitioner is not responsible for the actions of the foreign national if they split up. For example, if the foreign national commits a crime, the U.S. citizen is not responsible whatsoever," he explained. "The U.S. citizen is only responsible financially to make sure they don't go on…welfare or food stamps, and that survives divorce." 

And while Jay's presence on Tinder seems like it would be the ultimate piece of evidence in proving he entered the marriage solely to get a green card, Schulman presented a surprising rebuttal. 

"The fact that Ashley caught Jay on Tinder could be one factor in showing that it  was not a good faith marriage on behalf of Jay. However, the person just has to enter on the first day enter into the marriage in good faith. So is it possible that he entered the marriage in good faith on the first day, but by day 10 he realized he really didn't love her and didn't want to stay with her and was looking elsewhere...that's still, according to the law, considered to be entering into the marriage in good faith." 

Still, before any talk of a green card or eventual citizenship comes the k-1 visa, which is the initial focus for most of the 90 Day couples at the beginning of their relationships. 

Also known as a fiance visa, the k-1 visa is usually the first step in getting one through marriage as the couple applying for the visa must marry within 90 days of the foreign partner's entry into the country. 

After the wedding, "the foreign national spouse can then apply for lawful permanent resident status in the United States (get a Green Card)," according to the USCIS website

The site also explains that the foreign partner's permanent residence status is "conditional if it is based on a marriage that was less than 2 years old on the day you were given permanent residence. You are given conditional resident status on the day you are lawfully admitted to the United States on an immigrant visa or adjustment of your status to permanent residence."

It's conditional because "you must prove that you did not get married to evade the immigration laws of the United States," which obviously comes into play on 90 Day Fiance, with allegations of marriage fraud often becoming storylines (see: Danielle and Mohamed). 

During the reunion episode, Ashley opened up about their relationship, saying, "I mean, when someone cheats on you, you don't automatically fall out of love with them. I know the smart thing to do is to leave him and that's what I'd tell anybody in my shoes. I really did—do—love him, but maybe he really did just want a green card." 

If the U.S. citizen does sponsor their foreign partner, they are responsible for them for 10 years, and even if a divorce is granted, "The petitioner is still responsible…it only stops if the person becomes a citizen, works 40 quarters or the death of one of the parties," Schulman said. 

90 Day Fiance, Jonathan Rivera, Fernanda Flores

Courtesy of TLC

Another season six couple that is no longer together? Fan-favorites Fernanda Flores, 19, and Jonathan Rivera, 32, whose separation surprised fans, despite their age difference.

After cryptic social media posts started raising eyebrows, Jonathan confirmed on Instagram that the couple was "separating" after the finale, which featured their wedding, aired. 

 "Every marriage has its problems. Every relationship has its issues. It's all about your attitude. As long as you're positive..." he said, later saying he is still "very hopeful" for the future. For now, he said, "[I] gotta take it day by day."

At the time, a source explained to E! News, "Right now it's hard to tell if the split will be permanent. They are in touch and communicating. They are legally married. No one has made a move to do anything official like file for separation or divorce. It's definitely a wait and see situation. Both of them have been having a really hard time."

And in an interview with In Touch, Jonathan said he believed their marriage was legit, saying, "My feelings for Fernanda were real and Fernanda's feelings for me were real. Fernanda's not a gold digger. Fernanda didn't come here for a green card."

So in cases like this, where a split isn't contentious and/or doesn't involve possible criminal charges, the foreign partner could stay in the country, even if the green card has not yet been granted. 

"It depends on whether they were granted the green card yet or not, and then do they have someone else that will maybe be willing to sponsor them if the first spouse is still willing to grant their support," Schulman explained. "If the first spouse doesn't do the affidavit of support then any future petitioner can't petition for them in the United States." 

However, it seems like Jonathan and Fernanda's separation might not be so neat and tidy, as she recently revealed on Twitter that Jonathan had blocked her after she commented about the split on his Instagram.

If their split does become contention and Jonathan decides he is no longer willing to support her, Fernanda "would not be able to get the green card through any other mechanism expect for another sponsor once she's outside the U.S. and starting fresh," Schulman said. 

Given the high ratings for 90 Day Fiancé, as well as the social media attention its stars receive, the arguments the couples have often are public. So could scenes from the show or fights on Instagram be used as evidence in divorce (and potential deportation) proceedings? 

"The fights and drama that happen on 90 Day Fiance don't necessarily impact the deportation proceedings or the USCAS proceedings or any of the immigration proceedings," Schulman said, "in fact, immigration can take a look...if they review the tape and see it was a good faith marriage, the people are just fighting--and as we know 50 percent of marriages end in divorce--so that could be just the fact that the people just don't get along."

90 Day Fiance


But Schulman did highlight one major issue when it comes to the k-1 visa process that impacts all of the couples on the show. 

"One problem with a 90 Day Fiancé visa is that the people who don't know each other very well when they're abroad and when they come to the United States, that's pretty much their first dating experiences," he explained, and then saying, 'OK, now I have 90 days to get married,' that can be difficult on anyone's relationship, whether it's two U.S. citizens or a U.S. citizen and a foreign national." 

And you thought dating in your city was complicated. 

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