Morris County Same-Sex Divorce Lawyer
Couples in same-sex marriages enjoy all the rights that couples in other marriages have. A same-sex couple that is divorcing should expect to deal with many of the same issues commonly associated with more traditional dissolution of marriage cases. However, because same-sex marriage has only recently been legalized, there are a handful of issues specific to same-sex divorces that can complicate matters.
If you are in a same-sex marriage and wish to divorce your spouse or have been served divorce papers, contact a Morris County same-sex divorce lawyer for help navigating the process. A family law attorney could explain your rights and options, as well as advocate on your behalf during negotiations and court appearances. While divorce is hard, hiring the right divorce lawyer could help ensure that you make well-informed decisions throughout the process and are able to achieve the best outcome possible.
About Same-Sex Divorce
When a married couple divorces, they must address a number of important matters relating to their finances and their children, if any. There are many aspects to consider when dissolving a marriage that may be challenging for same-sex couples:
Division of Assets
If a married couple that is divorcing is unable to agree on how to divide their assets, a judge will have to intervene and do it for them via a process called equitable distribution. The term “equitable distribution” simply means that the couple’s marital assets will be divided fairly, but not necessarily 50/50. According to N.J. Rev. Stat. § 2A:34-23.1, one of the many factors a court must consider when equitably dividing assets in a divorce is how long the marriage lasted.
The problem this poses in a same-sex divorce stems from the fact that a married same-sex couple may have been in a “marriage-like” relationship for many years before LGBTQ marriage became legal. A court could determine that all their pre-marriage assets are not divisible in divorce despite the fact the couple may have married sooner if they had been allowed to.
Alimony is sometimes awarded in divorce cases to permit one of the spouses to maintain themselves financially with a similar standard of living. As with the division of assets, the duration of the marriage is a critical factor a court may look at when asked to make an alimony determination.
In same-sex divorces, child custody is often particularly problematic as not all same-sex couples who are raising children have joint parental rights. If one of the spouses in a same-sex marriage is the child’s biological parent, yet the other spouse is not related to the child either biologically or through adoption, keeping both parents in the child’s life may be difficult.
Someone who is going through a same-sex divorce involving children is highly encouraged to speak with a family lawyer in the Morris County area regarding how child custody might be handled. Securing custody rights may be an uphill battle for a spouse in a same-sex divorce who is not the child’s legally recognized parent.
Speak with a Morris County Same-Sex Divorce Attorney Today
Going through a divorce can be difficult whether it is a same-sex divorce or an opposite-sex divorce. However, because same-sex marriage so recently became legal, there is a small handful of issues unique to same-sex divorces that might further complicate dissolution proceedings. Contact a Morris County same-sex divorce lawyer today if you are headed for divorce and would like more information on the benefits of having representation.