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Since 2013, same-sex marriage has been legal in New Jersey. But, while the right to marry is legal, several challenges can arise when dissolving a same-sex marriage. Like any other divorce, these issues should be handled carefully.
If you believe your same-sex marriage is ending, seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Our seasoned divorce attorneys can protect your legal rights throughout divorce proceedings and help you reach a fair and equitable outcome. Let a West Caldwell same-sex divorce lawyer explain what options might be available to you during your separation.
According to state law, the requirements for marrying and divorcing are the same for same-sex and heterosexual couples. A couple must have valid legal grounds when filing for divorce. In addition, at least one spouse must meet the residency requirements for divorcing in the State of New Jersey.
To secure any divorce, there must be a legally recognized reason for the separation, known as “grounds.” Several grounds for divorce exist, which are available to heterosexual and same-sex couples. Traditional grounds for divorce include extreme cruelty, desertion, adultery, and addiction. However, the law also allows spouses to divorce based on irreconcilable differences for at least six (6) months, which is the most common.
Like many jurisdictions, New Jersey has a residency requirement for divorce. If one of the same-sex spouses in the marriage does not meet this residency requirement, the court cannot grant a divorce.
To satisfy the New Jersey residency requirement, at least one of the spouses must have lived in the state for at least one year before filing a Complaint for Divorce.
A seasoned attorney can advise a same-sex couple on the requirements for divorce and ensure they follow the proper steps to reach their desired outcome.
Child custody is an area of divorce that can be complex in same-sex separations. The law attempts to resolve these issues by stating that both spouses are the custodial parents of a child born to either parent during the marriage. However, problems can arise when a spouse adopts a child before marriage.
If a child is born or adopted prior to marriage, there is no guarantee that both spouses will have parental rights under the law. To ensure that parental rights are guaranteed in the event of a separation, a partner must adopt a child legally or argue that they are a psychological parent to a child. The adoption process could provide valuable protection for a spouse who is not a child’s biological parent. A hardworking local lawyer can assist with potential custody issues that might arise during a same-sex separation and work to find a fair resolution and the same-sex adoption process.
Although the process for legal separation is the same for same-sex and heterosexual couples, specific factors can make divorce proceedings complex. However, you do not have to face these challenges alone.
A West Caldwell same-sex divorce lawyer could advise you on your legal rights and help you and your former partner obtain a favorable outcome for all parties involved. If you or someone you know has a question regarding a same-sex divorce, contact the Williams Law Group today to learn more about how we can help you.