What Are the Legal Considerations for Same-Sex Divorce in California?

two men with wedding rings

In California, LGBTQ+ couples are afforded the same legal rights as those in different-sex marriages. However, when you and your spouse decide to divorce, you may wonder if the divorce process differs for those in same-sex marriages. As such, it’s necessary to familiarize yourself with the divorce process in California. The following blog explores what same-sex couples can expect from their divorce and why enlisting the help of a Los Angeles divorce attorney is essential for ensuring this process goes as smoothly as possible.

Do Same-Sex Couples Face Different Requirments for Divorce?

In most instances, getting divorced as an LGBTQ+ couple is the same as different-sex couples. As such, one spouse will file for divorce and serve the other, who can agree to the terms or contest them.

One significant difference that many same-sex couples face is that they may have lived together for many years before officially becoming married. This is due in part to the fact that federally, same-sex marriage was not legal until 2015. As a result, many couples may have shared assets and finances before getting married, making it challenging for the courts to distribute assets during the divorce accurately.

Why Do I Need an Attorney During This Process?

Despite only having one difference from different-sex marriages, an LGBTQ+ couple going through a divorce should still enlist the assistance of an experienced attorney for this process. Unfortunately, you may find that despite having the same rights as other couples, there are other challenges you may face that can make the divorce process difficult.

For example, many LGBTQ+ couples find child custody a challenging factor during divorce. This is because one spouse may have a biological child who has not been legally adopted by their spouse. As such, the spouse has no rights when it comes to custody or visitation, and they do not have to pay child support. This can leave one parent struggling financially, as they may have depended on their spouse for financial support.

Finally, you’ll also need to take alimony into consideration. In decades past, wives were almost always awarded alimony payments. However, the courts have changed their view on this matter and no longer take gender into account. This ensures that same-sex couples are treated fairly when awarding spousal support.

At the Zitser Family Law Group, our dedicated team of attorneys is ready to assist you with any issues you may face surrounding your divorce. We understand how complex this matter can be, and as such, we will do everything in our power to help you achieve the best possible outcome for the dissolution of your marriage. This allows you to focus on healing from this emotional time as we will handle the legal complexities. Contact us today to learn more.

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