When a same-sex couple divorces, there are a number of intricate issues that must be dealt with that are unique to their situation. For example, child custody and property division can be more complicated in a same-sex divorce than in an opposite-sex divorce. This is because same-sex couples have not always been able to marry in all states, so the law has not had as much time to catch up with the reality of their lives. This blog post will discuss some of the key differences between same-sex divorces and opposite-sex divorces.
Access To Marriage Rights
One of the biggest differences between same-sex divorces and opposite-sex divorces is that same-sex couples have not always been able to marry in all states. In fact, this was once a state-by-state issue, legal in some states and banned in others. This lack of continuity made it difficult for same-sex couples to navigate their relationships and any problems that may have come up while together.
Did you know? In New York, same-sex marriages were not legalized until 2011. However, in many other states, same-sex couples were only granted the right to marry in 2015, and divorce laws are still catching up. This can complicate things like child custody and property division in a same-sex divorce than in an opposite-sex divorce, especially when the language making up the laws fails to include diverse couples.
Handling Child Custody
Another one of the most significant differences between same-sex and opposite-sex divorces is how child custody is handled. In many states, courts will give preference to a parent who is biologically related to the child when awarding custody.
However, this does not always hold true in same-sex divorces. In some cases, the court may award joint custody to both parents, even if one parent is not biologically related to the child. This is partially because many same-sex couples have to find alternative ways to become parents, meaning that one parent may not have biological relations with their children. To establish a family, they may go through adoption, surrogacy, or donors. This means that custody decisions are usually based on what is in the child’s best interest, not on biological relations. Furthermore, there are other ways to establish parentage, such as court documentation.
Dividing Property Appropriately
Another big difference between same-sex and opposite-sex divorces is property division. Because same-sex couples have not always had access to marriage, they have often had to get creative when owning property together. For example, they may have lived together for quite some time but never officially married. This can complicate things when it comes time to divorce, as the court may not always know how to divide the property fairly.
In some cases, the court may decide to award one spouse all of the property, while in other cases, they may order that it be sold and the proceeds split evenly between the two spouses. However, if the couple can have discussions about the division process, they may be able to reach a working agreement. This can be done with assistance from experienced attorneys and mediators.
Attorneys That Understand
If you are facing a same-sex divorce, it is important to hire an experienced attorney who understands the unique challenges that you will face. The team at Eiges & Orgel, PLLC prioritizes a compassionate approach to each divorce case that comes our way. We are prepared to hear the details of your unique case and will work to find the best solution to meet your needs.