Is LGBTQ Divorce Different?

man removing ring

When it comes to same-sex couples, there are many differences in how these unions work in terms of lifestyle. For example, many same-sex couples do not adhere to more traditional gender roles, opting instead for a more fluid split. However, this doesn’t mean that all same-sex marriages will last, as there are many LGBTQ divorce cases per year. If you and your partner are undergoing the dissolution of your marriage, contacting a Los Angeles divorce attorney is crucial to protecting yourself during the process.

How Does LGBTQ Divorce Differ from Heterosexual Couples?

Generally, the divorce process is the same for same-sex couples as for straight spouses. One party files for divorce, unless agreed that it will be a joint filing, and the procedure continues like it would for any other couple.

One issue that may come up for same-sex couples is the fact that many live together for years at a time before officially becoming married. This makes it hard for a court to determine what assets belong to who in the couple, as many in this arrangement will often share finances. However, as laws surrounding same-sex marriage become more defined, this process is more structured, allowing a court to award the proper alimony to the correct parties.

What Are Important Factors to Consider?

One thing that is challenging for many same-sex couples undergoing a divorce is child custody. If a couple is together and one spouse has a biological child, the other will need to adopt the child in order to be granted custody if they divorce at a later time. This is due to the fact that non-biological or non-adopted parents have no custody rights in California.

On the flip side, if a couple chooses to divorce, unless the child had been adopted by the other spouse, the non-biological parent would not have to pay child support. In many same-sex couples, one partner may be financially dependent on the other. However, divorcing can leave the biological parent struggling with no child support from their ex-spouse.

Similarly, as the world becomes more progressive, alimony settlements look much different in today’s day and age. Unlike in previous eras, the wife would receive alimony while the husband paid. However,  courts no longer take gender into account when awarding alimony, which is ideal for same-sex couples.

Should I Hire a Lawyer?

If you’re undergoing the divorce process, hiring a competent attorney to help guide you through the process is essential. Without representation, you may end up accidentally accepting a subpar settlement. Instead, a seasoned lawyer can explain your rights to help you get what you deserve from your divorce.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. The Zitser Family Law Group can help ensure this process is much easier for you and your family.

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