The rights of same-sex couples to marry have grown rapidly in recent years, and so have those related to divorce. While LGBTQ residents of Simi Valley enjoy the same protections as same-sex couples, there are also unique challenges to be aware of.
If you are dealing with the potential dissolution of your marriage, a Simi Valley LGBTQ divorce lawyer might be able to help. The right attorney could help you navigate the challenging circumstances that can come with ending your marriage. Let a compassionate divorce attorney assist you through every step of your divorce.
One of the areas where same-sex divorce can differ from opposite-sex marriages is child custody rights. Heterosexual couples also routinely face custody and visitation disputes, but there are protections in place for biological parents. When it comes to same-sex divorce, custody issues could become complicated. An LGBTQ divorce lawyer in Simi Valley could provide useful guidance for custody issues.
Central to these custody issues is whether either parent is the biological parent or if they have adopted the child. If one of the spouses is not the legal parent of a child, securing custody or visitation following a divorce could be difficult.
The good news is that the lack of legal custody might not bar a parent from having a relationship with the child. The court has a legal duty to act in the child’s best interest. If they determine maintaining a relationship with both parents is the best thing for the child, they could issue an order to that effect.
Most states have a residency requirement that divorcing couples must comply with. That requirement exists in Simi Valley for heterosexual couples but not for same-sex marriages. This rule is a holdover from a time where other states refused to grant same-sex divorces, leaving some couples locked in a legally binding marriage forever unless they relocated to California for six months. To accommodate same-sex couples who wanted a divorce, Simi Valley law does not require these couples to comply with residency requirements.
There are delays for divorcing in Simi Valley. These time limits apply to same-sex and heterosexual couples alike. These delays will occur whether the spouses agree on every issue or if the divorce is contentious. An experienced attorney in Simi Valley could help avoid any unnecessary delays in a same-sex divorce, however.
The minimum amount of time for a divorce under state law is six months. Until the six-month window of time expires, a finalized divorce is not an option. The six-month window begins to expire on the date that the person filing for divorce formally serves their spouse with notice of the case.
After six months pass, the court has the power to review the petition and finalize the divorce. The process could take longer if there are unresolved issues regarding property, spousal support, or child custody.
Divorce can be difficult under any circumstances. Because of the way the law has slowly developed over time, divorce can be especially challenging for same-sex couples.
If you are considering ending your marriage, reach out to a Simi Valley LGBTQ divorce lawyer right away to learn more.
Hoffer Family Law Firm