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Same-Sex Divorce Versus Same-Sex Separation

Same-Sex Divorce and Separation

Same-Sex Divorce Versus Same-Sex Separation

June 19, 2024

By Johnson/Turner Legal

Same-Sex Divorce Versus Same-Sex Separation

June 19, 2024

By Johnson/Turner Legal

Understanding Same-Sex Divorce and Separation: Key Differences and Considerations

In 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States made a historic decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, granting all Americans the right to marry regardless of sexual orientation. This landmark ruling ensured that same-sex couples could marry and receive the same legal recognition as heterosexual couples. However, with the right to marry also comes the possibility of divorce. If you are in a same-sex relationship, understanding the differences between same-sex divorce and same-sex separation is crucial in deciding the best path for you.

Same-Sex Divorce: What You Need to Know

A same-sex divorce operates similarly to a heterosexual divorce. Both parties have the right to request:

  • Property division
  • Debt division
  • Spousal maintenance

If the couple has adopted children during the marriage, custody and visitation issues will also need to be addressed. This legal framework provides a structured process for dissolving the marriage and ensuring fair outcomes for both parties.

Same-Sex Separation: Key Differences

In contrast, if a same-sex couple has chosen not to marry, the separation process can be more complex. Here are some important distinctions:

  1. Spousal Maintenance: Unmarried couples cannot request spousal maintenance, unlike their married counterparts.
  2. Property Division: During a divorce, marital property is divided equitably. However, in a separation where the couple was never married, there is no automatic property interest. Proving an interest in jointly acquired property, such as furniture, can be challenging.

Child Custody and Visitation Challenges

Child custody and visitation present unique challenges in same-sex separations, especially if the couple never married or completed an adoption. If only one partner is the biological parent, the non-biological parent may not have automatic rights to visitation or custody. This issue can also arise in same-sex divorces if an adoption was not completed. Although there are legal avenues to request visitation or custody for the non-biological parent, these processes are more complicated than if an adoption had been finalized.

Expert Legal Guidance for Same-Sex Couples

Navigating the complexities of same-sex divorce and separation requires experienced legal guidance. At Johnson/Turner, we have extensive experience helping same-sex couples through these challenging times. Our team is here to provide the support and expertise you need.

For a consultation about your family situation, call us today at (320) 299-4249. Let us help you understand your rights and options, ensuring you make informed decisions for your future.

Optimize your understanding and make the best choice for your relationship with Johnson/Turner by your side.


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