Same-sex couples have fought hard for the right to get married. While a married same-sex couple now has rights for the benefits, inheritance, and medical elements associated with getting married, same-sex couples also have to have the ability to get divorced. In these instances, there some unique circumstances can make a same-sex divorce differ from a traditional one.
1) Couples Can Run Into Problems Dividing Marital Assets
One of the unique issues for same-sex couples in Colorado is that, because same-sex marriage only became legal relatively recently, there may be challenges establishing the length of the relationship. This is important because the court needs to understand which person is allocated which assets from the marriage.
If a couple has been together for 30 years, but only married for two years due to the law, the law may only recognize contributions that have been made during the past two years. This is why it’s so important to work with a same-sex divorce attorney to determine the best strategy for dividing marital assets.
2) Non-Biological Child Custody Challenges
Navigating child custody in a same-sex divorce case is also a challenging process. The couple may have had children before their same-sex marriage, or they could have adopted a child. Once the same-sex couple has gotten married, it is common to forget about legally adopting that child.
After that couple gets divorced, the court will determine who is responsible for the child and whether the non-biological parent to the child receives visitation rights, has to pay child support and other parental rights. In allocating custody, Colorado judges will always consider the child’s best interest first, but being a direct relative of the child will provide an advantage.
3) The Law is Evolving
One of the best things about this area of law lies in its evolution. Same-sex marriage and divorce is a very new thing legally. These divorce cases are constantly evolving to keep up with society and the changes taking place within. This means, while there are significant issues about same-sex divorce cases now, these issues might be resolved through new legislation in the coming months and years.
For same-sex couples taking on the divorce process, it’s critical to work with an experienced divorce attorney to ensure that your assets are protected and your rights respected. To learn more on the unique challenges associated with same-sex divorces, speak with our team in Brighton or Denver today.