Same-Sex Divorce Lawyers
No two families will ever be handled in the same way because the circumstances in each case differs. While some families can reasonably hash out the terms of an agreement, not every family works like this. With that said, same-sex couples divorce at the half the rate that opposite-sex couples divorce. Same-sex couples had a divorce rate at 1.1 percent, while the rate with opposite-sex couples was ranked at 2 percent each year.
What to Know About Same-Sex Divorces
Like with opposite-sex couples, divorce will happen in much the same way. Many of the same rules will still apply to them. Nevertheless, you do have special issues for gay divorce within the United States. The duration of the relationship becomes one of the more difficult aspects. For example, because of how they had previously made it illegal, many courts struggle to identify if the co-habitation period from before should be considered as part of this.
To give another example, some same-sex couples have been together for over 25 years before they made it legal for them to marry. They look at this for the purposes of alimony. In addition, equitable distribution of property will matter as well.
The other problem that exists comes from tax problems. The surpreme court ruled against the Federal Defense of Marriage Act and even called it unconstitutional, but issues continue to persist despite these things. Property distribution and spousal maintenance can become a complicated and tricky legal field that requires special attention. For property transfers, they could be subject to federal income tax. Same-sex couples also cannot deduct maintenance or alimony payments like how opposite-sex couples can do.
Difficult Residency Requirements
In some cases, the requirements for residency can be difficult in cases with a divorce. They may even experience some problems when they enter into something like this because of some of the difficulties associated with it. For example, let’s say that the relationship ends while the two are living outside of the state that they were married in. The majority of states will require that one or both of the people have to remain in that state for at least a month before they can file for divorce. You do have some states willing to dissolve same-sex marriages and civil unions from other states. Washington State is one of the examples of this.
The other difficulty with these cases can come from dividing up a retirement plan because they don’t always allow this. It poses a unique challenge for same-sex divorces. Some of the issues come from how they don’t always have access to the other person’s pension or retirement account, and things like this can make it difficult to discern how to proceed.
How Does Child Custody Work?
Whether an opposite-sex marriage or a same-sex marriage, it can be hard on children. They no longer side as much with mothers even in cases with same-sex marriages, and this can make it more difficult for someone to even see their child. When the two parents battle it out and can’t decide on how to do joint custody, the court uses several factors to make a decision that include:
- The potential home environment
- The potential work environment of the parent
- What the child needs
- The primary caregiver of the child
- Family history like domestic violence
- Looking at the parenting skills of each parent
Each of these factors can have an impact on the final decision of the divorce.
When people go through a same-sex divorce, they would be wise if they were to hire a lawyer who specializes in this field of law. While you have plenty of things that are the same with opposite-sex marriages, you have other issues unique to same-sex divorces, and a lawyer who specializes in this field of law will be the best equipped to help you. The lawyer that you choose will determine how things proceed, and it can have a big impact on the outcome. You need to choose someone that you trust who can protect your legal rights.