For a few years now, Americans in same-sex relationships have had the freedom to marry each other. As with traditional marriages, some couples may inevitably face a rift in their marriage. Over time, same-sex divorce could also become common.
Same-sex couples who are considering divorce may wonder what to expect. Although marriage is an equal opportunity, divorces might not be equal from couple to couple. This difference is not necessarily negative; it is simply because divorces vary depending on each unique situation.
A large portion of the divorce process may be the same as any other divorce. Your divorce could be contested or uncontested, a settlement or litigation, spousal support and child custody issues. You will still have to divide marital assets and consider the financial and emotional impact that the divorce may have.
However, same-sex divorce can include a few extra factors. If you share children, it’s possible that only one or neither parent is biologically related to the child. Although this biological connection has been a decisive part of child custody in the past, same-sex parents often have a different situation. In cases of adoption or surrogacy, awarding child custody to the biological parent may not make sense. Instead, a court would examine the best form of custody for the benefit of the child. This usually results in co-parenting or sole custody with visitation rights.
Because the law regarding same-sex marriage changed so recently, many same-sex couples still have a domestic partnership in place of a legal marriage. Just like a married couple, you may want a legal break-up with your partner. This process of dissolution is similar to a divorce.
A family law attorney can answer any more questions about ending a same-sex marriage. You can also seek advice for specific concerns and ways to make this transition as smooth as possible.