Marriage between same-sex couples is legally allowed in all parts of the U.S., thanks to the monumental Supreme Court ruling of 2015. Before the ruling, only 38% of same-sex cohabiting couples were married, compared to 61% in 2017.
The divorce process for same-sex couples is, however, not as straightforward as that of heterosexual couples. Discussed below are some sticking points for same-sex divorce below:
Duration of the Partnership
Although gay marriage was legalized nationwide in 2015, some couples had been cohabiting for years. In some states, couples could file for a domestic partnership, which they converted to marriage after the 2015 ruling.
The court has broad discretion when determining the duration, which may affect benefits like parental rights and spousal support. The divorce lawyer may argue for or against a longer marriage duration, depending on their client's interests.
Assets and Alimony
The laws regarding alimony vary from state to state, but the courts take into account the length of the marriage when making a decision. Suppose a couple has cohabited for a duration that is significantly longer than the marriage. In that case, the court may award a more considerable sum of assets and alimony to the low-earning or no-earning party.
A spouse might earn spousal support if they were financially supporting their partner or taking care of the children before the marriage. The judge can disregard the time the couple cohabited before the legal marriage entirely, which could negatively affect the division of assets.
A divorce lawyer is your best bet to get a more equitable ruling, as they will convince the court to divide any property you acquired together before the marriage date. Legal help is particularly advisable if you have significant assets and liabilities.
Parental Rights and Child Custody
Issues relating to parental rights are easier when both parents have legally adopted the child. If one party is the biological parent, divorce may get complicated if the second parent has not adopted the child to get the same rights as the other party. In such a case, the judge will determine the best interests of the child.
If you did not legally adopt your child, you could still pursue legal rights through a court order. Your divorce lawyer can argue for custody if the legal parent is unfit.
The marriage duration will also impact the state and federal taxes relating to alimony and property distribution. Same-sex couples may not be able to deduct spousal support, and property transfers may be subject to federal income tax.
For more information, speak with a local divorce attorney.Share
20 January 2021
Are you going through a divorce? Do you have kids? If so, do you know how to handle the many struggles you will face when it comes to your kids? Even if you and your spouse can get through the divorce while agreeing on the custody arrangements, there will be struggles that you may not have planned for. For example, who will handle the educational, medical or other decisions about the kids? Is it something that you will decide together, or will one parent make the decision and the other one agree? My site contains several tips that can help you plan for the struggles you will go through in the future and make the situation a little easier for your entire family.