In the summer of 2015, the United States legalized same-sex marriage across the entire country. Despite all the time that has passed since that day, many same-sex couples – and other people in general – still do not understand what the legalization did. How was family law affected, if it was at all?
For the most part, the legalization of same-sex marriage only did that: allowed same-sex couples to marry, rather than only relying on a domestic partnership. There is no language in the Supreme Court ruling that directly changes any other facets of family law. However, the secondary effect of the legalization of same-sex marriage was also the legalization of same-sex divorce. Had this not been true, same-sex couples who marry would have theoretically been trapped in a legal marriage.
Child-Related Legal Concerns in Same-Sex Divorce
Within same-sex divorce, there are a few new complications that are worth reviewing. In particular, some concerns arise when considering what to do with matters involving child custody and child support. Many family law courts will pay close attention to who is the biological mother of the child in divorce. A same-sex couple may feasibly not have any biological mother, relying on adoption or another alternative to have a child. Who in such situations has more right to child custody, and perhaps therefore child support due to becoming the primary or sole custodian?
Ultimately, the matter will fall heavily or entirely upon the judge’s discretion, or the ability for both same-sex spouses to negotiate custody and support agreements on their own terms. The latter may be most beneficial for all parties, especially children, since it places the power of setting the expectations directly into the hands of the parents. If the matter goes to the court, the judge will have to decide upon the matter, which may be unfamiliar to them due to the relative newness of same-sex marriage laws.
Same-Sex Family Law Questions Answered
At Gille Law Group, our Pasadena family law attorneys are well-versed in same-sex family law and divorce concerns. We have long provided our legal services to members of the LGBTQ+ community and would be happy to act as your legal guide as well. Together, we can solve your same-sex divorce concerns with the knowledge and experience of our certified specialist in divorce and family law, Attorney Christine Gille. In case an agreement cannot be reached with your same-sex spouse, know that you can depend on us for representation in court.
There is no time like now to solve your family law concerns. Contact our firm at your first opportunity!