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Same-Sex Divorce

Same-Sex Divorce

As more American states begin to recognize marriage equality, the laws of each state must evolve to anticipate same-sex divorce. Marriage equality, or the recognition of same-sex marriage, is currently permitted in seventeen states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia. The recognition of gay marriage in these states may result in difficulties for the parties if and when they decide to divorce, especially if they live in any of the states that do not currently recognize marriage equality. Many issues may arise for gay and lesbian couples who file for divorce after being joined in a legal marriage in the states in which they live. For instance, all divorces in the states of Massachusetts and New Hampshire are viewed equally and therefore same-sex divorces are treated exactly the same as heterosexual divorces. However, certain issues may arise that can complicate same-sex divorces. For example, if a LGBT couple lived together for 25 years before the state permitted them to legally marry and that state considers the length of the marriage when deciding issues regarding division of assets and property, the only time that a court will look to when it makes decisions concerning equitable distribution will be the time that the couple was legally married . Which, in the aforementioned example, is much shorter than the time that the couple was actually together obtaining joint assets. The laws in the state of New Jersey are also continuing to evolve and as time progresses may become more sensitive to the unique legal issues that same-sex divorce presents to the parties involved, such as the issue presented in the example above. If you are currently in a same-sex marriage and you anticipate that you may be contemplating filing for a divorce it is critical that you seek out the advice of an experienced attorney before moving forward. For more information about same-sex divorce, child custody, divorce, parenting time, equitable distribution, or other family law matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney

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