Some states have chosen to make marriage between two partners of the same sex legal. This is the case in New York. New Yorkers have been free to create a same sex marriage since July 2011. Any gay marriage has the same legal rights and obligations that a heterosexual marriage has under law. These rights also apply to any decision to break up the marriage and get a divorce. While such laws are the same, any same sex marriage may have specific issues that pertain solely to that divorce. For example, one party may have had a biological child via the use of donor sperm. The other party may have adopted the child. The other party may not have had chosen to adopt that child. At the same time, they may have formed important bonds with that child and been part of their ultimate upbringing. Even after the divorce, the other party may wish to keep in touch with that child and participate in bringing them up. This is one of many reasons why any same sex couple needs to make sure they have legal counsel in the event of a divorce. Working with Queens same sex divorce lawyers has many advantages.
Setting Up Basic Terms
A same sex divorce lawyer can be present from the very start of the divorce process. They’ll help by looking closely at both parties finances. One partner may have made fiscal sacrifices on behalf of the other partner. For example, they may have been the primary means of support while the other partner went to law or medical school. A divorce lawyer can point this out and make sure the other party is given the credit they are entitled to under all applicable laws. The lawyers can also help by working closely with the court system in order to make sure any legal orders are applied as the divorce continues. For example, one party may have chosen to move out of the couple’s residence as part of a decision to separate. The other party can be required to offer temporary support during this time and help them make sure that all necessary bills are paid out of the couple’s personal funds.
Child Related Issues
Like other couples, a same sex relationship often involves children. One partner may have one or more children from a prior relationship or from a heterosexual marriage. This child may want to remain with the other partner even if there’s a divorce. The same is true of any children who are conceived as part of the marriage. One partner may have gone to a sperm bank and had a baby. The baby may have been raised for many years by both parties during the course of the marriage. New York state laws recognize that children form bonds with those who may not be related to them biologically. State officials want to make sure that a child’s interests are protected even if there’s a divorce. A skilled and experienced lawyer can help the couple work out the best solution for their children’s interests. Such legal agreements can be complicated by multiple factors. This includes any decision to adopt. It also includes the rights of a partner who may have contributed gametes and wishes to remain part of that child’s life even if the parties in question are no longer together. All of these factors can make any same sex divorce a bit more complicated than a divorce between two heterosexual partners. This is why it is imperative to have the best possible legal counsel during this process.
Creating a Working Agreement
A working agreement during the divorce process is the ideal way to address all such issues as successfully as possible. The lawyers can help both parties decide what is in their best interests as well as what is in the interests of their children. In doing so, they can help them both work through any issues that may have arisen during the course of the marriage. The lawyers can also help by creating a working agreement that applies in other states as well. For example, states that do not allow same sex marriages may allow gay people to adopt. A lawyer can make sure any such agreements between the two parties can be enforced even if one party wishes to live in another state. A thoughtful agreement from a skilled lawyer can help both parties move on from the same sex divorce with ease.
One of the factors that you have to consider when filing for divorce is how much it will cost. Unfortunately, it is impossible to determine how much your divorce will cost unless the case is actually resolved. No matter how much you ultimately spend, your goal should be to get a fair settlement in a timely manner and in way that may preserve relationships going forward.
Each Jurisdiction Will Have Filing Fees
In addition to paying for an attorney, the jurisdiction where you file for divorce may have additional fees. These fees generally need to be paid at the time of filing or shortly thereafter. If they are not paid in a timely manner, your case could be postponed or thrown out completely. It may be possible to have those fees waived or paid in installments if you can’t afford them. Overall, you can expect to pay as little as $100 or as much as $500 depending on the volume of paperwork required to file for the divorce.
Can the Divorce Be Finalized in a Straightforward Manner?
If you have a prenuptial agreement, it may be possible to settle the case in a matter of days per the language in that agreement. Even if there is no formal agreement, going through mediation or through a collaborative divorce can limit costs. This is because each side is motivated to settle, which means a resolution could be at hand within a few weeks or a couple of months. In some cases, an attorney may offer a flat rate for a mediation or collaborative divorce settlement.
How Focused Are You On Getting Closure?
It is easy for your emotions to take over when you are going through the divorce process, which may cause your case to drag out longer than it needs to. Remember, your lawyer may charge by the hour. Billable hours may accumulate each time you send an email or call your attorney on the phone. Therefore, if you are concerned with keeping costs down, only call or email if you absolutely need to. If you need someone to talk to, look for a licensed therapist or confide in your family or friends until the divorce is finalized.
Do You Need Outside Help to Settle the Case?
Cases that need the assistance of forensic experts or other outside professionals will cost more than those that can be settled without them. Your attorney may include the cost of outside assistance in the fee that he or she sets. Alternatively, the expert may set his or her own rate that you are responsible for paying or coordinating with your former spouse to ultimately pay. Generally, a forensic accountant or other experts are only needed in high asset cases.
A divorce can be costly if not handled in a frugal and expeditious manner. Between filing and legal fees, you could easily spend thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to formally dissolve your marriage. Therefore, it is in your best interest to collect all necessary documents before you file to ensure that you don’t spend more on legal fees and other costs that you can afford.
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