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Ending a marriage is a difficult feat, whether it’s for a same sex marriage or traditional union. Consequently, there are certain aspects of a gay union that make things more challenging. The same problems occur in the severing of both types of marriages. Question like “how do we fairly split the assets,” “who gets the children,” and “is there a need for spousal support,” all come into play. The law is clear about these issues regardless of who is seeking absolution from their marriage.
Division of Assets
It’s wise to have a division of asset statement in a prenuptial agreement. Both heterosexual and gay unions need this document. When no such paperwork exists, then it’s up to the court to ensure an equitable division of property. Any debts that were acquired during the union, as well as debts one party doesn’t know about, is now the responsibility of both parties. These bills will be split down the middle, and the court will order them paid in a fair manner. The court will not waver over the responsibility of the accumulated debt
The Dilemma Of Spousal Support
In a traditional marriage, the husband has a legal obligation to support his wife and provide for her, if he has a more substantial income. When the couple divorces, it doesn’t negate the husband’s responsibilities to her. Spousal support was designed to help the wife be able to live beyond the severing of their union. Just because a couple is of the same sex doesn’t relieve them from their obligation.
One spouse can be ordered to make maintenance payments once the divorce is final. The court must make the decision on which party must pay. If one party makes way more money than the other one, it doesn’t matter if they are male or female. The court has the jurisdiction to order such support. The couple can negotiate and come to an understanding, but the court must sign off on the agreement.
Child Custody and Support
The family court must deal with several obstacles regarding LQBTQ parents. Making a fair determination can be almost impossible. Because both parties are the same sex, only one can legally be the biological parent to the child. So the court must look at surrogate parents, as well as the natural parent, to make an informed decision.
Many LGBTQ couples use a surrogate to have a child. When this is the case, then this person is also figured into the equation. They may not be active in the child’s life, but they gave birth, and they are given the status of the biological parent. This means that the non-biological parent, who may be raising the child, has little rights. It’s one of the areas of the law that doesn’t seem fair.
The problem is that the non-biological parent doesn’t have any legal ties to the child, even though they might be the most critical part. There is some consideration given when the person has taken care of the child financially, physically, and emotionally. Being an essential part of the child’s life doesn’t go unnoticed by the court. The length of time also weighs heavily on the decision.
It’s best to have a formal adoption to gain a legal relationship with the child. The surrogate will relinquish all rights, and those rights dare given to the former non-biological parent. These agreements should be done before the divorce to ensure there are no legal issues regarding status. If the biological parent is seeking child support from a non-biological parent, the court must have substantial grounds to make this person pay for a child that is not legally their responsibility.
The Need For Legal Representation in LGBTQ Divorces
Some people try to handle dissolutions and divorces without the assistance of legal counsel. However, when dealing with same sex marriages and custody issues, many conflicts can arise. Though New York is fair concerning the division of assets and the support of children and adults, they still must follow the law. If you are in a same sex marriage and you want out, call a Brooklyn divorce attorney who specializes in these matters. You cannot afford to make a mistake in such substantial issues.
Are you in a same-sex union that you need to end? When marriages of equality became legal, so did the need for a way to end them. Since June 24, 2011, same-sex couples have been allowed to marry in the state of New York. Brooklyn has always prided itself on being open and diverse.
In June of 2015, marriage around the country became legal for the LGBT community. As with traditional marriages, sometimes things do not work out. When divorcing, the same laws that apply to a traditional couple also apply to the same-sex couple. However, the court altered the aspects of family law, and it takes a strong lawyer to fight for your rights to ensure you get a favorable outcome. Here are some common questions we receive on same-sex divorces:
1. Am I Entitled To Half Of Everything Like Retirement?
The court does not make one set of laws for gay and lesbian couples and another for monogamous. If you have been married the allotted time, then you will be entitled to the same benefits. The longer the marriage, the more benefits you are entitled too. If there was $15,000 in a bank account before you got married, and you added another $20,000 during the marriage, only the $20,000 could be split. The other money would be a pre-marital asset. If the party has proof to such, the other person cannot touch it.
2. We Adopted A Child, So Who Gets Custody?
A judge looks at the best interest of the child. Some people believe that the court favors the mother over the father. In a case where there are two mothers, it would be hard to decide. The old mother over father ruling is old school. The court uses a standard that looks for the “best interest of the child.” The parent with the stable job, financial security and better living arrangement would be the obvious choice. Even in same-sex divorces, the other party gets visitation rights. Do not think the court will not do some investigation to find the best situation either.
3. We Bought a House Together, But I Do Not Want It Anymore. What Do I Do?
As with most marriages, a home that is owned by both parties can be a source of contention. If one side wishes to retain the house, then they must pay you any equity that you have accrued then they must buy you out. In some cases, the other person will not have the money or resources to do so.
The court will often give them a time frame in which they must accomplish this task. If they cannot or do not pay your share, then they are in contempt of court. If there is a fight over the home and both parties want it, then the court will look to see if there is one person more financially stable than the other.
4. Can I Get Alimony or Spousal Support?
You will take comfort in knowing that you can receive alimony or spousal support. If you are in a relationship where you are disabled, or the other party provided for most of your needs, you are entitled to care. Judges like to see longevity to award such an amount. To receive this benefit, you must have little income or no way of providing for yourself at the level in which you are accustomed too.
5. Can We Get A Dissolution or Do We Have To File For divorce?
As previously stated above, the laws apply to everyone regardless of their sexuality, and there are not two different sets. If you can end things peacefully, then you do not need to file for divorce. There are many instances when dissolution is justified. You can also use mediation to help reach agreements and keep your costs down and process shortened.
Because we are a nation that believes in equality for all, you do not have to worry about losing assets, children, or your support when you file for a same-sex divorce. You should keep your focus on getting on with your life in the healthiest way possible. Any marriage failure is a bitter pill to swallow. You need a brooklyn law firm that is well versed in these matters and can assist you with your journey. They say that the only thing worse than being single is being married to the wrong one, so we can help you end your union and move on.