Same-sex marriage was only legalized across the entire U.S. in 2015. Even still, state governments and court systems have been slow to adapt to their existence.
There are unique aspects to some same-sex divorces that heterosexual couples don’t often have to contend with. You may want to brush up on what those are if you’re in the process of splitting with your spouse.
The date of your marriage may not be reflective of when your relationship actually began. Many same-sex couples joined in a civil union or domestic partnership before then.
The court may record the date when you entered into a previous legal relationship or even first started cohabitating for the purpose of determining which assets are marital, thus affecting what you may have to divide between yourselves.
Determining the relationship’s start date can also affect spousal support. The date on which the judge determines the relationship began may impact the duration a spouse may be entitled to support and how much support a spouse may be entitled to.
Often, only one spouse in a same-sex marriage is a child’s biological parent or may be the only person who adopted the child. There often are situations in which the other spouse didn’t formally adopt the child. They may, however, serve in the capacity of a co-parent without having ever formalized their parentage. You may have to petition the Court and ask for orders granting parental rights to the non-biological or non-adoptive parent during the litigation process.
The need to terminate two legally binding relationships
If a couple had a civil union or domestic partnership before they were able to get married, they may need to both divorce and end their prior legal relationship to formally sever their ties.
Ending a marriage never is easy, but these additional issues can add an extra layer of complexity. The more you know about the law and your rights, the better you will be able to pursue your goals in your divorce.