New Jersey Same-Sex Divorce Lawyer
Same-sex and LGBT divorces follow the same process as heterosexual dissolution of marriage cases. The two spouses in a same-sex divorce must figure out how to divide their assets and determine whether alimony should be paid. However, there are a handful of issues that may complicate a same-sex divorce and one of them is child custody.
If you are in a same-sex marriage but thinking of divorcing, then consider contacting a New Jersey same-sex divorce lawyer today. An experienced family law attorney could be the legal advocate you need during this difficult time. With help from a local divorce lawyer, you could receive effective representation with respect to the many different issues that are part of your specific divorce.
Dissolving a Same-Sex Marriage
When a gay or lesbian couple divorces, their dissolution of marriage case will be treated just like a heterosexual divorce in the eyes of state law. As New Jersey is a “no-fault” divorce state, the spouse who files for divorce is not required to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong. It is enough simply to say that the couple has “irreconcilable differences” for the divorce to be granted.
As with a divorcing opposite-sex married couple, a divorcing same-sex married couple must address issues including:
Division of Assets
When a married couple gets divorced in New Jersey, their marital property must be divided equitably though not necessarily equally. In many cases, the duration of the marriage is a factor that heavily influences how marital property is equitably divided in a divorce. This can be a challenging issue for a divorcing same-sex couple, who may have been a committed relationship with one and another for a very long time before they could get married.
Determining whether alimony should be awarded in a same-sex divorce presents a similar problem. This is large because alimony determinations typically rest on the length of the marriage that is ending, and a divorcing same-sex couple may have lived together for many years before finally being allowed to marry. The date of their marriage may not reflect how long they have been in a committed, marriage-like relationship.
Child Custody & Support
The services of a New Jersey family law attorney could be particularly valuable in a same-sex divorce involving a child. If one spouse is the child’s biological parent but the other spouse is not related to the child either biologically or through adoption, the situation could become complicated. The spouse who lacks legal parentage could be denied even limited custody or visitation rights. However, that spouse may also find that they have no legal obligation to pay child support after the marriage is over.
Domestic Partnerships & Civil Unions
Prior to legalizing same-sex marriage in 2013, New Jersey recognized domestic partnerships in 2004 and civil unions in 2007. A same-sex couple that wishes to dissolve their domestic partnership or civil union generally must follow the same procedures as divorcing same-sex married couples. Someone who is looking to get out of a domestic partnership or civil union may want to hire a New Jersey family law attorney as ending either type of relationship could present a wealth of legal challenges.
Contact a New Jersey Same-Sex Divorce Attorney Today
Dissolving a same-sex marriage could be relatively painless or highly contentious depending on the circumstances. If you wish to end a same-sex marriage or are in a same-sex marriage but have received divorce papers, do not hesitate to contact a New Jersey same-sex divorce lawyer. The right lawyer should be able to help you make the best decisions possible during this difficult period.