San Bernardino LGBT Divorce Attorney
Nowadays in San Bernardino, LGBT couples have the right to enter into marriages. Since the day gay marriage was legalized back in 2015 hundreds of thousands of people have taken the walk down the aisle. That said, not all ties are built to last. The divorce option is also available for same-sex married couples who do not want to be together any longer.
LGBT divorce is a New Legal Specialty
Are you currently in a gay marriage and considering divorce options? If you are, then respecting your legal rights and options is important for you. Given that same-sex marriage is a relatively new phenomenon, the laws and procedures governing same-sex divorce are still under development. The fact of the matter is not every divorce attorney in San Bernardino would be able to help you handle your gay divorce. You will need the help of a compassionate lawyer who carries a thorough understanding of this evolving area of the law that comes from experience.
The truth is that divorce can be an incredibly stressful moment in your life, especially if children are involved. The right lawyer will help you with all facets of your divorce including property division, child custody, financial matters, etc. Reach out today to a San Bernardino Gay divorce lawyer to arrange a free consultation, and learn more.
Understanding Your Rights When it Comes to Gay divorce in San Bernardino
If you chose to get divorced, you would also have to end your marriage. You will cease to enjoy the rights and privileges that are extended to married couples until the divorce is completed. It will restore your status as a single person. As you navigate your divorce, it is critical that you wrap your head around that.
The explanation for this is that the way you want to treat your divorce affects your future. The protection of all relevant rights during a divorce would go a long way towards achieving the best outcome possible.
Property Division in LGBT divorce Cases
The state of California is known as a community property state. As a result of this, each partner is entitled to half of all community property from the union. Community property contains all the assets and liabilities which both partners jointly own. This usually includes anything the spouses procure, individually or collectively, following the wedding. Some examples include:
- Wages and income
- Retirement benefits
- Real estate
- Interests in a business or partnership
- Intellectual property, and more.
Another type of classification of properties also exists: separate. Separate property is something which is owned individually by each spouse. This generally refers to property you owned before marriage. The separate property you came to the marriage with is yours to hold in case of a divorce.
In same-sex divorces, the courts may hear cases where a couple has been together for more than 20 years, but has only been married for a short period of time. In such cases, in order to divide the assets equally, courts may have to avoid the precedents of traditional asset division in favour of providing each asset to the rightful owner.
Full Disclosure Protects Your Rights
When you get a divorce, you are required to disclose all of your assets and liabilities with your spouse. It helps you ensure complete transparency, and fairly separate assets and liabilities. You have a legitimate right to learn about all of the land your spouse owns. If it was acquired after you have married, then you are likely to have an interest in ownership of that land. Your LGBT divorce attorney will be carrying out a thorough accounting of all property you and your spouse own. The right lawyer will work with experts to ensure each item is properly valued. This will help you secure the best result for your gay divorce.
Child Custody in Gay divorce Matters
When married couples are divorced each party must share their children’s responsibilities and rights. Such matters are somewhat more complicated when parents of the same sex choose to divide up. Only because you and your partner are married doesn’t automatically mean you’re still legally recognized as a parent to a child you raise. The truth is that you can only have child custody rights if you:
- Are the biological parent of the child (if appropriate it may be necessary to determine paternity), or
- Did take the steps to legally adopt the child.
If you are not documented as your child’s legal parent, securing custody rights in your divorce can be far more difficult. This, indeed, is not an impossible feat. When you and the other parent of your child can not decide on custody, a judge is going to get involved and make decisions on your behalf. The courts will always want to do what is in the best interests of a child. When it is clear that it would be safer for your child to have you in his or her life then the court has the power to ignore the fact that you have not legally obtained parental rights yet.
Child Support Arrangements
When parents stay in a marriage to raise their children together, it’s easy to ensure the financial needs of a child are met. This generally makes it much more difficult when they choose to divorce. In a divorce, a parent still maintains the obligation to ensure that a child is well cared for. The amount of money a parent will commit to supporting a child will depend on the following:
- Each parent’s financial position(e.g. income, assets, job)
- Each parent’s capability to contribute, and
- The couple’s child custody agreement.
In general, the parent in custody shares a smaller part of the burden of paying child support. The parent who has physical custody appears to spend more time with the infant, offers housing, and usually attends to several regular expenses. As a result, the non-custodial parent (or the parent with a lesser time-share of custody) will often be obliged to pay support.
You have the legal right to make sure child support commitments are correctly determined. Your lawyer will ensure that any details relevant to a child support decision are disclosed. If you are a child’s parent in custody and apply for support, your lawyer can help you secure the money your child needs. And if you’re a parent who isn’t in jail, the lawyer can insure you don’t offer more money than is absolutely essential.
LGBT divorce Spousal Support
In cases of LGBT divorce, spousal support, more commonly referred to as the alimony, can be an option. Typically it is awarded in situations where one spouse earns a lot more than another. This often applies to a situation when one spouse leaves the working world to stay at home and take care of the family and/or to be a career and education support system for the other spouse. A spousal support payment intends to allow the lower-earning spouse to acclimatize to life after divorce at a standard of living to which they have become accustomed.
The length of spousal support payments frequently depends on how long the marriage lasted. Due to the fact that at the time of this writing, same-sex marriage was only legal for five years, divorcing gay spouses will generally only qualify for a short period of time for alimony.
Gay divorce in San Bernardino: The Residency Requirements
The state of California imposes a residence requirement on heterosexual couples divorcing. For LGBT couples this fact is not the same.
Why is that?
The explanation for this is that California has been one of a few states for years supporting the right of same-sex couples to marry. For this reason, LGBT couples from across the nation visited the state just to tie the knot. Those people may now find it hard to get a divorce back in their home states. Even though marriage is lawful nationwide, many states make it very difficult for couples to exercise their rights. Consequently, getting a divorce could take longer or be a long, drawn-out process.
The state of California also waives the residency requirement for same-sex couples. The state will allow couples who have been married in the state to request a divorce regardless of where they currently reside. Nonetheless, understanding that California may not be able to have jurisdiction over certain legal issues that affect your divorce is crucial. That said, working with an attorney is crucial that can help you walk through these very complicated situations.
Your divorce Will Take a Minimum of Six Months
divorce isn’t something you can start and finish in a matter of days. This is a reality even if you and your partner are in a position to agree on every aspect of the breakup. California law provides that divorce proceedings must take at least six months. Generally, the countdown begins when the spouse who filed the divorce request (the petitioner) has the divorce papers previously served on the other spouse (the respondent).
The judge has the power to review your divorce petition after six months have passed. That said, until you have reached agreement on all the relevant terms of your split up, the judge will not sign. This involves issues such as division of property, and child custody, and visitation.
Alternatives to Gay divorce in San Bernardino
In San Bernardino, being divorced isn’t the only way to end your marriage. There are other directions you can pursue, which are less costly and less time consuming. You and your spouse will only be able to access these options if you meet the minimum requirements.
Cancelation: An annulment is a means of ending a marriage that is invalid or voided. Annulment in plain English offers you a way to end a marriage that was never in fact valid in the first place. A marriage can be invalid or voided if:
- Certificate of marriage has never been filed
- The spouses are related by blood
- On the wedding day one (or both) spouses was still married to another
- One (or both) spouses did not meet minimum age requirements or exceed them
- A spouse exhibits any form of physical or mental disability, or
- The marriage is fraud based.
In the eyes of the law, when a marriage is annulled it’s as if it never happened at all.
Summary Dissolution: A summary dissolution may help young couples who have not been married for a long time. If you have only been married for less than 5 years, you can apply, share no children together, and own no real estate together. If you decide on a summary dissolution, dividing whatever marital assets you have will require you.
Legal Separation: Technically, legal separation does not end the union. Nevertheless, it helps you to take some time away from your partner, while still enjoying the marital benefits. You can go on as if you’re single when you get separated but still enjoy the fitness, tax and retirement advantages of life as a married couple.