Same-sex couples wrestle with legal ambiguities of divorce

On behalf of Lake Toback Attorneys

Illinois same-sex couples may be interested to learn about the challenges facing same-sex couples in states where gay marriage is legal. According to a recent report, they are having more difficulty divorcing than their heterosexual counterparts, chiefly because of the courts’ lack of knowledge as far as administering them as there is no discrete framework in place for the process in many areas. In addition, same-sex couples often face higher court costs and fees because their documents may take longer to prepare.

LGBT couples also face different challenges concerning divorce. Many same-sex couples have been cohabiting for several years and have accumulated assets, raised children and named each other as beneficiaries on legal documents. However, according to law, distribution of marital assets only applies to the time the couples spent legally married even though they may have been together for many years prior. Children may complicate matters as well, especially if one or both parties are not biological parents.

Location is another issue for same-sex partners seeking divorce, particularly if they got married in a state in which such a union was legal but have been living in a state where it is not. LGBT couples are discovering roadblocks if they wish to be granted a divorce in the state in which they were married. Many states have a residency requirement of at least 6 months before a couple files for divorce.

Divorce can be challenging, especially within the context of same-sex unions. Those seeking to end their marriages may find the process difficult, especially since the laws pertaining to heterosexual couples may not apply to them. A divorce attorney who is accustomed to working with the LGBT community may be able to provide sound advice as well as help such couples navigate the system efficiently and with the least amount of bureaucratic hurdles possible.

Source: Today News, “For gay couples, divorce comes with extra costs“, Eun Kyung Kim, August 06, 2013

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Same-sex couples wrestle with legal ambiguities of divorce