While same-sex marriage has been legal in California for almost two decades, it has not been in many other states. When the federal government finally legalized it in 2015, this gave LGBTQ+ couples across the country the opportunity to make their partnerships official. Marriage grants couples an assortment of legal rights in their relationships. However, LGBTQ+ couples who enter a domestic partnership don’t necessarily share all the same rights as married couples. This can often cause confusion and anxiety for same-sex couples considering separation.
Because same-sex marriage was just recently legalized, the divorce process is still developing in some areas. This can cause it to differ from the average opposite-sex divorce in California. If you are contemplating separating from your partner in a same-sex marriage or domestic partnership, talk to a family lawyer today.
The lawyer that you choose will make an immense difference in your divorce. At TDC Family Law, our founder, Tracy Duell-Cazes, has created a career centered around her clients. Our firm is aware of the difficulties that LGBTQ+ couples face in the legal world, which is why we offer compassionate legal guidance and support. Whether you are curious about your rights to property in a separation or need help filing for divorce, TDC Family Law has the resources to assist you with your concerns.
A same-sex couple that is married in California holds the same rights as a heterosexual married couple. This means that, if they believe their marriage is in disrepair, they can file for divorce or legal separation. The divorce process for LGBTQ+ couples follows the same procedures as the average heterosexual divorce. However, there may be unique challenges that only same-sex couples face during their separations.
To initiate a divorce, one partner must file a petition to dissolve the marriage. From there, the couple will have the opportunity to address all legal matters that are recognized in an opposite-sex divorce, including:
While same-sex couples are granted the same rights through marriage that heterosexual couples are, they may face challenges in a divorce that are unique to their situation. The following are the most common challenges LGBTQ+ couples face when they decide to divorce:
Before same-sex marriage was federally legalized, many LGBTQ+ couples decided that domestic partnerships would be the most optimal choice for them. Because domestic partnerships are a different type of union than marriage, they only grant some of the rights that a marriage would. Domestic partnerships must also be dissolved differently than legal marriages.
Married couples have the chance to file for divorce or legal separation, while domestic partners can only file for dissolution if they want to end their relationship. Dissolving a domestic partnership does not offer the same rights that a divorce would, either. For example, individuals in a domestic partnership do not have the opportunity to have their shared property split equally by the state. Instead, it is up to the couple to make decisions on the matter. This often causes disputes to arise, which is why having a lawyer familiar with LGBTQ+ rights and relationships is important.
TDC Family Law is committed to protecting LGBTQ+ couples in divorces and separations. We understand that the law may not always be in your favor, which is why we work to represent and safeguard your rights. Whether you are filing for divorce or involved in a property division dispute, our team is ready to assess your situation and help resolve it. Talk to TDC Family Law for more details on how we can assist you with a same-sex divorce in San Jose.
1530 The Alameda, Suite 108
San Jose, CA 95126
TDC Family Law serves the entire state of California for Contempt of Court and Private Settlement Judge & Mediation
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