If you are a member of a same-sex couple and are contemplating divorce, you should know that the law treats you and your spouse the same as an opposite-sex couple. However, some practical considerations are different for members of the queer community.
A Junction City LGBTQ divorce lawyer understands the complications that can sometimes arise in same-sex divorce cases and is prepared to guide you through them. Contact a knowledgeable and compassionate matrimonial attorney as soon as you and your spouse begin seriously considering divorce.
Negotiated Settlements Are Beneficial
When any couple divorces, they benefit from negotiating property division, spousal maintenance, child custody, and child support arrangements. A negotiated settlement keeps the decisions in the hands of the couple and avoids the delay, expense, and potential public disclosure that comes with a trial.
Members of the LGBTQ community are wise to try to negotiate their divorce agreement if possible. Some judges in the state remain uncomfortable with same-sex unions, especially when children are involved. When spouses negotiate their divorce agreements, they avoid putting personal decisions in the hands of a stranger who might not honor their family.
A dedicated Junction City attorney could help a spouse develop their goals in an LGBTQ divorce and prepare a strategy to achieve them. The legal professional could negotiate with the other spouse’s attorney to reach acceptable compromises on significant issues. Mediation is another option that is effective in helping many couples resolve their outstanding issues and complete their divorce without a court’s intervention.
Resolving Issues Involving Children
Some heartbreaking situations can arise involving children and LGBTQ divorce. If one spouse is a biological or adoptive parent, that parent has parental rights and obligations. However, their spouse does not unless they adopt the child. When one spouse has no parental rights, they cannot claim custody or visitation in a divorce—even if they raised the child as their own.
Second-parent adoption, where the spouse adopts the natural or adopted child of the other spouse, is sometimes a possibility. If an adoption is not possible, a skilled same-sex divorce lawyer in Junction City could help a spouse negotiate an agreement that allows for a continuation of the relationship that exists between the child and the non-legal parent.
When both spouses have legal parental rights over the child, they must present the court with a parenting plan. The plan describes their agreements regarding where the children will live most of the time, how much parenting time the non-residential parent will have, and how the parents will make decisions regarding the children’s religion, education, healthcare, and other important issues.
Dividing Marital Property Fairly
Marital property is any property that either spouse acquired during the marriage. It does not matter who paid for the property or whose name is on the title or deed. The only exception is property a spouse acquired through inheritance or a gift.
Kansas Statutes Annotated §23-2802 requires couples to divide their marital property fairly, which usually means roughly equally. In some cases, however, a judge could decide that an unequal division is fair based on factors like each spouse’s contributions to the marriage and whether either spouse wasted marital assets.
A problem in some same-sex divorces is that the couple may have been together for an extended period before they had the opportunity to marry. Property acquired before the marriage is technically not marital property, but fairness might dictate that it be considered as if it was. An experienced Junction City divorce attorney could help a queer couple negotiate a property division agreement that honors all their time together, not just the years they were legally married.
Rely on a Junction City LGBTQ Divorce Attorney
If you are a same-sex couple considering divorce, speak with a Junction City LGBTQ lawyer about your situation right away. A knowledgeable legal professional could advise you about preparing for the divorce so that you can retain as much control over the process as possible.
Capable legal guidance can help a divorce proceed more smoothly. Call today to discuss your situation with a compassionate attorney.