In New Jersey, same-sex divorces follow the same process as heterosexual divorce cases. Those involved in a same-sex divorce must determine asset division and whether alimony is owed. However, other issues may complex the divorce process for a same-sex couple. One of the most common issues in these situations relates to child custody.
If you are considering divorce in your same-sex marriage, it is wise to contact our legal team at Sangiovanni Marchetti Law. Our experienced family attorneys can provide you with advice and guidance through this often-complex process. You can count on our legal services to provide effective representation and address the various issues involved with your divorce case.
Elements of a Same-Sex Divorce in Neptune, NJ
When same-sex couples file for divorce, their case will be handled just like a heterosexual couple’s divorce. New Jersey is a no-fault divorce state, which means the person who files for divorce does not have to list a reason for the divorce. All they must do is state they have “irreconcilable differences,” and their divorce can proceed.
Some of the issues that must be addressed in any divorce in New Jersey include the following:
Division of Assets
Marital property must be divided equitably in a New Jersey divorce. However, it is worth mentioning that “equitable” does not necessarily mean equally. In some situations, the length of the marriage impacts how marital property is divided.
This is challenging for some same-sex couples who may have been in a committed relationship with each other for decades before they were legally allowed to marry.
Determining if alimony should be awarded in same-sex divorce is similar to the one mentioned above. Alimony determinations usually depend on the length of the couple’s marriage. Many same-sex couples were living and committed to one another long before they could legally marry. Because of this, the date of their marriage does not reflect the amount of time they committed to each other.
Child Custody and Child Support
Our family law attorney understands the unique issues that may face same-sex couples who are divorcing. This includes issues related to child custody and child support. If one person is the child’s biological parent and the other is not related to the child in question biologically, or through adoption, the situation is often complex.
The individual who does not have legal parentage rights may be limited or denied visitation or custody rights. While that is true, that spouse will likely not be required to pay child support when the divorce is finalized.
Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships
Before same-sex marriage was legalized in 2013, the state of New Jersey recognized civil unions in 2007 and domestic partnerships in 2004. If a same-sex couple wants to end their civil union or domestic partnership, they must follow the same steps as divorcing same-sex couples.
Hiring a New Jersey family law attorney is recommended if you are ready to end your civil union or domestic partnership. We can help you with the legal challenges you may face in this process.
What to Expect During the Divorce Proceedings for a Same-Sex Couple
As mentioned above, same-sex divorces are treated like all other divorces in the case and must follow the same legal process. Because New Jersey is considered a no-fault state, couples who divorce do not have to list a reason for the divorce.
The main requirement to file for divorce is for one spouse to have lived in the state for a minimum of one year before filing for divorce. Just like any other traditional union, transgender, lesbian, and gay couples must determine the terms of their separation or divorce through contested or uncontested legal means. The issues that must be decided on include the following:
- Property division
- Child custody
- Debt distribution
- Spousal support
- Visitation rights
- Child support
If you can reach an agreement, a judge can review the terms of your separation agreement and issue the final divorce decree. You can utilize the experience of our legal team to help you achieve an amicable separation.
If you cannot reach an agreement, we can litigate your case on your behalf to help you achieve the desired outcome for your situation.
Our Team Can Help Protection Your Interests in a Neptune Same-Sex Divorce
While some issues can arise with same-sex divorces that are unique to these situations, you can count on our legal team to be the advocate you need to get through the legal process.
We are well-versed in the areas of family law and how it affects many same-sex couples. We will help you file for divorce and get the terms you want and need. Regardless of the legal issues you will deal with in this process, we will be there to provide advice and guidance each step of the way.
The first step is to contact our office to schedule an initial consultation. We can discuss your needs and situation to help you with your same-sex divorce.