LGBTQ+ Divorce Attorney in California
LGBTQ+ Divorce Attorney in Santa Rosa, California
Same-sex marriage has been common in the United States for many years. Marriage comes with rights and responsibilities, and when the relationship ends, everything must be sorted out through a divorce proceeding. Like any married couple, those with the right to marry may eventually need to divorce.
Whether it involves a heterosexual or LGBTQ+ couple, the same issues tend to be the leading factors causing a marriage to break down. These issues could include fights about money, abuse, addiction, trust, or simply losing love for each other over time and feeling the need to go separate ways. If you are in a same-sex marriage and considering a divorce, it is crucial to seek legal advice from a credible California family law attorney. They will ensure you are protected throughout the divorce process.
Why Do I Need an LGBTQ+ Divorce Attorney in California?
Although we celebrate the freedom and right to marry, it is crucial to understand that marriages reach an end. Married same-sex couples in California are entitled to the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual couples when they divorce. Same-sex couples seeking divorce need the help of a reliable Santa Rosa LGBTQ divorce attorney who understands the unique needs and challenges faced by gay and lesbian couples and will provide superior legal guidance at every step.
At Embolden Law PC, we have extensive experience in successfully representing our clients who need assistance with their LGBT divorce and family law matters. Our family law firm understands the unique concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer couples and families. We can help you navigate same-sex marriage and divorce challenges and assist you through this stressful time. Contact our law office now and schedule a free phone call consultation with our family law attorneys to learn more about your legal options.
What are the Requirements for Filing LGBTQ+ Divorce in California?
Many rules and aspects of a divorce case are identical for heterosexual and LGBT couples. Most LGBTQ+ divorce cases proceed just like straight divorces. For example, California is a no-fault state, allowing same-sex couples to divorce and legally end their marriage for any reason. A skilled Santa Rosa LGBTQ+ divorce attorney can help you know and understand the requirements and grounds that will apply in your divorce case.
Generally, California requires that at least one spouse be a resident of California for at least six months before filing a petition for dissolution of marriage. But for LGBTQ+ couples, you can file for divorce regardless of where you currently reside. California allows non-resident same-sex married spouses to dissolve their marriage if they got married in California and neither spouse lives in the state. The LGBTQ+ couple must file for dissolution in the county where they married.
In addition, there’s no residency requirement for LGBT couples. However, there is a minimum amount of time waiting to have your divorce finalized. A California family law judge will not sign off on your divorce until at least six months after you filed for divorce.
What are the Different Challenges of LGBTQ+ Divorce?
In California, same-sex couples can enjoy the same benefits of marriage as heterosexual couples. But, along with these benefits come the same challenges of family law matters. If your same-sex marriage is not working, there is no need to stay legally tied with it. You have the right to seek a divorce under the law.
While LGBTQ+ divorce is common in California, and many same-sex divorces proceed just like straight divorces, there can be some crucial differences between the two. Like in a traditional divorce, you will need to address issues such as property division, child custody, child support, and spousal support payments. When you encounter challenging legal matters in a same-sex partnership, you need a knowledgeable Santa Rosa LGBTQ+ divorce lawyer who understands that your issues are not the same as traditional marriages.
Child Custody and Support
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender divorce can be legally complex, even more so when a couple has children. They often face challenging disputes over child custody. When a child is born to one partner during a same-sex marriage, a family law judge will prioritize the child’s best interests, which include shared custody. If you are both legal parents of one or more children, you need to arrive at agreements or follow court orders for the care and upbringing of those children after your divorce.
When divorcing LGBTQ couples cannot come to an agreement about child custody, child support, and visitation, a family law judge will review the argument and evidence of both parties to develop an order that establishes suitable arrangements for the family. The complexity of these decisions makes it critical to work with a qualified Santa Rosa LGBTQ+ attorney who will advocate aggressively for your rights as an LGBTQ parent in a divorce.
Many states still use gendered language (such as mother and father or husband and wife) in their laws on establishing a parent-child relationship. For heterosexual couples, the male is considered the father of a child born during the couple’s time together. In a same-sex relationship, the presumption of father or motherly roles is blurred.
In every divorce, a family law judge divides the couple’s marital assets and obligations, which tends to be a challenging aspect of the divorce process. Assets are divided for an LGBTQ couple the same way as every other married couple. However, the timing of marriage may cause an unfair marital property division and settlement between same-sex couples who lived together before the marriage became legal.
California is a community property state, meaning you and your spouse have equal rights to whatever you two buy, own, or acquire after you get married. Common examples of community property can include:
- Marital home
- Bank accounts
- Vehicles and personal assets
- Income and wages
- Real property
- Retirement benefits
- Business interests
- Intellectual property
When you get a divorce, you and your spouse are entitled to one-half of all community property. If a couple has a prenuptial agreement, the court will consider whether or not this contract is enforceable. If you don’t have a premarital agreement, you’ll have to figure out how to divide your property equally.
Alimony in same-sex couples can be complicated when they have been together for a long time before being legally married. In California, a spouse may ask the judge to award palimony (financial support for unmarried partners) based on the years the couple spent living together before they legally married.
To determine alimony, the court considers many factors, including the length of the marriage, income disparities, earning capacity, and the standard of living established in the marriage. Sometimes, one spouse makes money significantly more than the other. The court is more likely to grant spousal support to a lower-earning or non-earning spouse if the marriage is long-standing.
Call Our Seasoned LGBTQ+ Divorce Attorney Now!
The decision to end a marriage is never easy. Divorce can be one of the most stressful and emotionally-draining events of your lifetime. Even though many LGBTQ couples have various reasons for pursuing divorce, the pain involved in ending a relationship is always difficult.
Divorce is one of the most sensitive areas of family law. The state laws regulating same-sex relationships are dynamic and changing, which makes it hard to predict a specific outcome. Same-sex marriage and family relationships continue to evolve. In this case, it is necessary to seek legal advice from our experienced Santa Rosa LGBTQ+ divorce attorneys at Embolden Law PC, who stay on top of recent changes in the law.
Our family law firm offers timely and informative legal advice on various family law issues, from divorce to spousal support, property division, child support, and child custody focusing on the subtle differences in same-sex unions. No matter what you face, we have the in-depth knowledge and resources to advocate for you. We can provide legal representation tailored to your specific situation. We will work diligently to ensure that your unique needs are addressed, and your rights are protected. Contact us now and schedule a free phone call consultation with our family law attorneys, who can help you navigate the complex LGBTQ+ divorce process.
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