Same-Sex Couples In NJ Should Check Twice Prior to Relocation
- March 14, 2014
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There is no denying that as marriage equality and same-sex marriage is becoming legal throughout the nation, gay and lesbian couples who are divorcing need to inform themselves on the legal considerations that may impact the their divorce. Divorce proceedings are extremely arduous on all couples, but may even be more complex for gay and lesbian couples who move out of their state and who have children. For instance, although New Jersey currently recognizes marriage equality, if a couple who is legally married in New Jersey chooses to move to another state during their marriage that does not recognize same-sex marriage there could be repercussions if the couple later decides to get a divorce. Federal laws may not address all of the issues that may arise in a same-sex divorce proceedings despite the fact that gay and lesbian couples are now afforded the same federal benefits as heterosexual married couples. Therefore, if a gay married couple decides to move out of the state where they were legally married it is very important that they inform themselves about the marriage laws in their new state of residence. For instance, the couple should seek out information regarding the state’s recognition of second-parent adoption or whether or not grandparents’ have the right to seek custody of children. If the couple signed any agreements before their legal marriage was executed, each party may wish to re-acquaint themselves with the particulars of the agreement to ascertain whether or not any provisions will affect the divorce process, specifically regarding the continued care and custody of any minor children. It may also be important for a party to realize that they should not change any of their visiting patterns with their child simply because the other party compels them to. A court may review the consistency of parenting time and visitation when making decisions regarding child custody. No one should assume that simply because one parent may be the biological parent and the other and adoptive parent that a court will automatically award custody to the biological parent. If you are a gay or lesbian couple who plans on seeking a legal marriage or filing for a same-sex divorce it is critical that you seek out the advice of an experienced attorney before proceeding. For more information about same-sex marriage, same-sex divorce, same-sex relationship dissolution, civil union or other family law matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes and it is in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney.