While visiting tdaxp recently, I learned that Dan's wife had received her Greencard this past March based on the I-485 Adjustment of Status (AOS) application. Since then they have unfortunately been dealing with problems with the lawyer they chose to represent them while going through the application process with Homeland Security. (It seems Dan has removed his original posts commenting on the lawyer's performance).
Interestingly, my wife and I also went through the same process this year and she also successfully acquired the Greencard. We have something in common with Dan and his wife in that I am American and my wife is a Chinese national (from Shanghai). I am surprised I didn't realize all of Dan's posts on this subject at tdaxp--I would have definitely asked questions while my wife and I were patiently waiting the whole 8 months it took to complete the process.
Although my wife and I were confident we could put together the application ourselves, we nevertheless considered getting a lawyer as well. The reason being is that I have been working in Japan while my wife was studying her MBA in the US. Although I have maintained residence in the US, we weren't sure how this would appear to Homeland Security. In the end, however, we found a Chinese-American lawyer in New York was helpful in answering general questions about this specific scenario at no cost.
After submitting the application, we ended up having to resubmit a few documents later because I had applied using my Japan address rather than my US address. I did this primarily because my tax documents are filed from overseas using my Japan address, but once I resubmitted those documents with my US address, everything progressed smoothly through the final interview. We were asked the same questions as Dan and his wife received, except that my wife had never joined the Communist Party. So we never had to get into the details of immigration law like Dan describes. Our interviewer was very polite and friendly.
Although we plan to eventually move to the US, until we do my wife is required to return to the US at least every six months to maintain her Greencard. Since I visit the US to see family around twice per year anyway, this is no big deal in the short term. I would say our only disappointment in the entire application process was the lack of transparency in what is happening to an application at any given time. I would love to see something like FedEx package tracking for this process, but will likely never happen. It would simply show with greater clarity how inefficiently Homeland Security operates, and might force someone to actually do something about it!
By the way, for those looking to embark on this process based on marriage or other family relationships, or already in-process, Visa Journey is a great site to reference.