California may have been ahead of the national curve when it came to making same-sex marriages legal. But the Supreme Court ruling in 2015 that deemed the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couple absolutely changed lives throughout the U.S. alike. The ruling has also impacted divorces, in making the basics essentially the same for all married couples filing for divorce.
However, there are some nuances that same-sex couples may face when filing for divorce that heterosexual couples may not. Two common roadblocks that same-sex divorcing couples may face is property division and child custody for non-biological parents.
Property Division Issues for Same-Sex Divorcing Couples
Prior to the important ruling that provided the legality of marriage for everyone regardless of their sexual orientation, many same-sex couples lived as domestic partners. Before taking the legal step to get married, domestic partners generally shared many assets and fully contributed financially to each other and their relationships before saying “I do.”
They often shared many things, including:
- Bank accounts
- Credit cards
- Purchased real property
- Retirement savings
- Stock portfolios
When married couples file for divorce, the standard approach to property division begins by assessing the shared marital property, which is anything acquired during the marriage. This may pose some problems for same-sex couples who may have obtained property before legally getting married but while living as domestic partners.
As such, this distinction can create obstacles when categorizing assets as either community property or separate property during the divorce process. Partnering with an experienced Central Valley divorce attorney will help you determine how California’s property division laws apply to the assets and debts you acquire during your time together.
Non-Biological Parents and Child Custody in California
When same-sex couples decide to start a family, their main options for having children generally include surrogacy or adoption. At the time of divorce, same-sex couples may face issues regarding the details of their biological parenting connection by the court when it comes to the issue of child custody. The reason for this is typically two-fold:
– By default, biological parents have the legal precedent for custody of their children
– Non-biological parents may not be legally obligated to pay child support
The details of these issues will significantly impact your rights of parenting after divorce. You need to hire a Central Valley same-sex divorce attorney to provide you the support, resources and experience necessary to address the issues arising out of these unique challenges.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Divorce Attorney
If you are involved in a divorce proceeding or considering filing a divorce, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced divorce attorney to help you learn your legal rights and options with respect to the division of your assets.