Greetings fellow expats!!
I am looking for some suggestions, information, and guidance to deal with my situation.
I am an Indian passport holder, I arrived in Paris on a tourist visa in the 2nd week of Dec 2017 on a 4-month tourist visa. Yes, I was granted a 4-month tourist visa because I had clearly informed my intentions about my travel in the cover letter to consulate during the application process. I flew down to marry my fiance (currently my wife), who I was engaged for about a year that time and we had been together in a relationship for over 5 years then while we both we pursuing our studies in India and working together in the same company after completing our studies for about a year.
We decided to get married in France and we got married in the month of Jan 2018, while I was on my tourist visa. We then moved down to Paris as she had a job and a rental apartment in Paris. We then started the process of getting me a carte de séjour "vie privée et familiale" one week after our marriage. We got our first appointment with the prefecture in June 2018 and upon inquiry about the expiration of visa by the appointment date, we were informed that the appointment letter allows you to stay until the appointment date. We then took a leap of faith and decided to go for the appointment in June, instead of me going back to India and getting my spouse visa done from there.
Fast forward to the appointment day in June - Since this was our first appointment we took all the papers required and some additional bills, but unfortunately we were missing some documents with our names together on them, we just didn't have enough to prove our relationship. We were advised that I either go back or get another appointment with all the papers.
At this point I had overstayed my visa by 2 months and I started to freak out about how all the consequences I'd have to face at the airport and reading stuff on the forums made me freak out even more as I didn't want to leave my wife alone for a year or more in case of a travel ban. So we decided to wait and give this another shot.
To give this another try we went to get an appointment again in the month of January 2019, ensuring we had all the missing paper and be ready for an appointment anytime after the month of Jan. We got our 2nd appointment for the month of June 2019. For this 2nd attempt we took help from various nonprofit associations to guide us with our papers and now we have them all in order for our appointment in June.
Unfortunately, recently we started to have some troubles in our relationship we are looking to file for a divorce, we both understand the consequences of filing for the divorce, we don't have any property or kids so the divorce proceedings should not be tough, but that puts me in a very tough situation, due to the fact that my overstay for the purpose of my appointment with the prefecture won't be happening, as we won't be going for the appointment anymore.
Reading other forum post on the internet on this topic, I am scared that I might have to pay a very heavy fine at the airport, with possible jail time and ban to enter Schengen zone for a long time upon returning back to India, which in future may affect any job opportunities for me in the Schengen area or any other country abroad.
I'd really appreciate any guidance, suggestions as to what can we do to make this work so that none of us have to face any severe consequences.
Thank you all in advance.