LGBTQ Divorce Attorney in Overland Park, Kansas
Family law and divorce can be challenging, especially for members of the LGBTQ community. About 1.1% of same-sex marriages end in divorce, which is lower than the annual rate of divorce among married different-sex couples—but still fairly common and complex.
Going through a divorce or separation can present unique obstacles and emotional stressors for same-sex couples. To add to the complexity of divorce proceedings, different states have varying laws put in place to handle family matters. So what differences are there between same-sex and heterosexual divorces?
If you're in Overland Park, Kansas, or anywhere in Johnson County, and going through a divorce, then you should seek the right representation for your legal interests. At Rundberg Law, LLC, I can help you understand your options, rights, and expectations through the divorce process.
Considerations in an LGBTQ Divorce
Divorce can be a difficult and emotional process for anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. However, there are unique considerations that LGBTQ couples should keep in mind when ending a marriage or domestic partnership.
In the U.S., same-sex marriage has only been legal since 2015. For LGBTQ couples who were married or registered in a state that recognized same-sex unions, divorce is relatively straightforward. However, if you were married or registered in a state that did not recognize same-sex marriage or partnership at the time of marriage, you may face additional challenges.
In some states, same-sex couples were only able to register as domestic partners before marriage equality was legalized. This can create complications in the event of a divorce. While domestic partners may have some of the same legal protections as married couples, they do not have access to all the same rights and benefits.
For example, if you were only registered as domestic partners, you may not have the same property rights or spousal support entitlements as legally married couples.
The requirements for filing an LGBTQ divorce are essentially the same as those for any other divorce. The primary difference is that same-sex couples may have been married in a state where same-sex marriage was legal, only to move to a state where it was not recognized before it became legal.
In this situation, you may need to take additional steps to dissolve your marriage, such as filing for a divorce where you got married or seeking a court order to recognize your marriage in your current state of residence. It's important to consult with a family law attorney or divorce attorney who is familiar with LGBTQ divorce to ensure that every step is done correctly.
Custody and Child Support Issues
One of the most difficult aspects of an LGBTQ divorce is determining custody and child support arrangements.
Same-sex couples may have used alternative methods to have children, such as artificial insemination or adoption, which can lead to complex legal issues. When determining custody, the court will consider factors such as the best interests of the child and the ability of both parents to provide a stable and loving home.
It's important to note that same-sex parents have the same legal rights and responsibilities as heterosexual parents. This means that both parents have a legal obligation to provide financial support for their child and can petition for custody or parenting time.
Property Division in Same-Sex Divorce
Figuring out how to separate assets or property division is messy in any divorce, but can be especially tricky in a LGBTQ divorce.
Depending on the laws of your state, you may need to account for assets that you acquired before getting married, as well as those you obtained during the marriage. This can include both tangible assets, such as real estate and vehicles, as well as intangible assets, such as intellectual property.
One of the biggest areas of contention in divorce proceedings is often alimony. In same-sex marriages, there may be additional questions that arise around this issue.
For example, if one spouse earned significantly more than the other and was the primary wage earner, how much should they be expected to contribute to their former partner's financial stability? If the marriage lasted only a few years, is there an obligation to provide long-term support?
Again, an experienced same-sex divorce attorney can help you understand the legal framework for alimony and negotiate a fair settlement for both parties.
LGBTQ Divorce Attorney in Overland Park, Kansas
At Rundberg Law, LLC, I am here to provide support and guidance through a process that can be emotionally and mentally taxing. My law firm has years of experience working with LGBTQ clients in both Kansas and Missouri (primarily in Overland Park and Johnson County). If you need help handling the details and intricacies of your LGBTQIA+ divorce, give me a call today.