With the rise in same-sex marriages, there are subsequently an increases in cases where the marriage does not work. With the guidance of same-sex divorce attorney Rick D. Banks, you can dissolve your marriage or domestic partnership. Under California law, same-sex couples have the same divorce rights as any other couple. Thankfully, same-sex divorce cases do not face the same gender bias issues that may afflict heterosexual divorce cases.
What Is Divorce?
A divorce is when you dissolve your marriage and/or domestic partnership. Once your divorce is finalized, you are, under the eyes of the law, single and able to remarry or have a new domestic partnership.
Do I Need a Reason to Divorce?
As a no-fault state, California permits divorce for “irreconcilable differences” — no one is to blame. The court’s interest is helping a divorcing couple reach a fair agreement regarding the restructuring of their life post-divorce so they can rebuild their lives. Some issues to be considered include:
- Child visitation and custody
- Child support
- Spousal or partner support
- Division of property and assets
- Responsibility of debt repayment
What If I Am in a Same-Sex Marriage and a Domestic Partnership?
California views domestic partnerships similar to marriages. Unlike heterosexual divorces, if you are bound by both marriage and a domestic partnership, you may be required to dissolve both to be considered single. A same-sex divorce attorney can help you dissolve both covenants.
If you are in a marriage or a domestic partnership that was not registered in California, you or your spouse/partner must live in California for six months prior to the time of the divorce request and one of you must live in the county where you plan to file for divorce for three months. However, if your domestic partnership is registered in California, you do not need to meet the residency requirements.
If you do not meet the residential requirements, you may still obtain a legal separation. You can then file an “amended petition” and request for a divorce once you meet the residency requirements.
You may consider obtaining a summary dissolution if you have been in a marriage or in a partnership for less than five years and do not:
- Have children,
- Own or rent land, or
- Have certain debt obligations.
A same-sex divorce attorney can assist in this easier method of dissolution.
One challenge same-sex couples face is custody rights. If the couple does not reach an amicable agreement regarding child custody and visitation, the court must take certain information into consideration, such as:
- Biological information
- Perceived caregiver roles
Until courts can create standardized judgment rules through legal precedents, custody battles may complicate same-sex divorce.
Another challenge same-sex couples face is that although they may have been together for over ten or twenty years, they may have only been in a marriage for a short time. Thus, courts may forgo traditional asset division precedents in favor of dividing assets equitably.
A Same-Sex Divorce Attorney Can Help
If your same-sex marriage is not working, a knowledgeable and experienced same-sex divorce attorney at the Law Offices of Rick D. Banks can help you decide your best options for dissolution of your marriage and/or domestic partnership. Call (559) 222-4891 for assistance today.