What Are the Legal Considerations for Same-Sex Divorce?
A same-sex divorce is similar to a divorce between a straight couple, but there are some elements of a same-sex relationship that could complicate matters. That is why it is a good idea to consult with our Morris County, NJ divorce lawyers. We can tell you more about how you can protect yourself and your assets while fighting for a fair divorce settlement.
Do You Need Grounds for a Same-Sex Divorce?
You do need to state a reason for your divorce, also known as having grounds for it. Some people choose fault-based reasons, like infidelity or extreme cruelty, but you can also choose to just go through a no-fault divorce. Your lawyer can help you figure out which option might be best for you.
How Could Property Division Be Different in a Same-Sex Divorce?
Usually, each spouse comes into a marriage with the property they own and they can leave with that property. Anything the couple buys together would be considered marital property, and that needs to be split up equitably in a divorce.
In some same-sex divorces, this can be more complicated because many same-sex couples cohabitated before it was legal for them to get married. This could result in one spouse trying to lay claim to assets like a shared home even if it was purchased before marriage. A lawyer can help you navigate this process.
How Does Child Custody Work When Only One Parent is a Biological Parent?
This is another matter that can get complex when you are going through a same-sex divorce. If the child is only related to one parent biologically, they could be favored when custody and visitation agreements are being made. This is even more likely to happen if the other parent never took steps to adopt the child or children.
However, the court still usually looks at matters of child custody with the well-being of the child as its first priority. It would not make sense to cut off a parent from their child entirely, even if the two are not biologically related, so there is room for your lawyer to argue for visitation rights and even custody in some cases.
Can I Ask for Alimony in a Same-Sex Divorce?
Alimony can be awarded in a same-sex divorce. A court can look at the same factors it considers when dealing with a straight couple going through a divorce. Those factors include:
- The health of each spouse
- The assets and earning potential of each spouse
- Whether a spouse will be able to support themselves
- The parental responsibilities of each spouse
The length of the marriage could also be considered, but the court might also consider how long the couple was in a civil union or cohabitating before same-sex marriage was made legal.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you want to learn more about how an attorney can help you, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark. We can set up a consultation for you and take a closer look at your case. Resolving a divorce on your own can be tough, but we’re ready to advocate for you and fight for the best possible outcomes.