An Advocate In Family Law Cases

When same-sex couples divorce

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Same Sex Family Law

You’ve been with your same-sex partner for fifteen years. As soon as same-sex marriage became lawful, you had your perfect wedding. Unfortunately, things are not going well after nearly ten years into your marriage. Since you’re not happy together, you’ve decided to get a divorce.

In California, a divorce cannot be finalized until after a six-month “cooling off” period. This waiting period is intended to give spouses time to resolve their differences, reconsider their decision to divorce or prepare for settlement conferences. Regardless of whether they agree on settlement terms, the divorcing couple must observe this waiting period.

What challenges do same-sex couples face in divorce court?

A California divorce typically addresses property division, child support, spousal support, and custody. This usually entails taking the relationship’s many aspects into account. A few of those variables could pose legal issues for same-sex couples. For instance, it might be challenging for same-sex couples to prove the following elements in court:

  • Duration of the marriage. Same-sex marriage was legalized in California in 2013 and nationwide in 2015. This means that even though a couple may have been together longer than that, they may have only been formally married for 7 or 10 years. Before same-sex marriage became legal, couples entered into alternative civil unions, such as domestic partnerships, which are not as legally protected as marriages.
  • There are no legal presumptions for children born in same-sex marriages that would immediately establish parenthood for both parents, unlike in opposite-sex marriages. Rather, in order for both spouses to keep their parental rights in the case of a divorce, parenthood needs to be established independently, such as by adoption.

There are many more considerations when couples choose to divorce. Seek assistance as soon as possible if you are seeking a divorce from a same-sex spouse or if you have received divorce papers from your partner.