3 challenges in same-sex divorces

After the 2015 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges came an influx of same-sex partners excitedly marrying. However, with the celebrations also came a wave of same-sex couples seeking divorce. If you reside in Pennsylvania and your marriage is also coming to an end, you likely wonder about how your divorce will go.

Same-sex couples facing divorce have various legal challenges that their heterosexual counterparts typically do not encounter in family law.

Division of marital property

The division and distribution of marital assets for same-sex spouses is an legal area that is not widely addressed. Divorcing couples should aim for an equitable distribution of marital assets since a court might not factor in the length of time you lived together monogamously before you were legally allowed to marry.

Determining alimony

In a marriage between same-sex spouses, the years of the union may not be a clear number. According to Forbes, an inaccurate reflection of the length of a marriage may financially impact alimony awards.

When courts calculate alimony, one of the major factors considered is the length of marriage. You and your spouse may have filed a domestic partnership in another state or lived together monogamously before the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. The court overseeing your divorce may not recognize these initial arrangements in your relationship in determining alimony.

Legal relationship of your child

To avoid certain custodial issues, the non-biological parent must legally adopt the child. If you have children born before your legal marriage, it is possible that a court will not grant custodial rights to the non-biological parent.

Overall, as a same-sex spouse filing for divorce, you might benefit from exploring alternative dispute resolution methods so the terms of your end of marriage fit your specific situation.


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