Connecticut’s recognition of the right to marry in 2008, followed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s affirmation of the right to marry in 2015, opened the doors for millions of couples nationwide to have their commitment to one another formally and legally recognized – and to the option for those couples to divorce one another, as well. While same-sex couples have the same legal rights and obligations as non-same-sex couples, they often find themselves facing challenges unique to their situation.
Here are some of the most common issues we see same-sex couples grapple with during the divorce process, and how we can help:
- Alimony calculations can be tougher.
Connecticut legally recognized the right of same-sex couples to marry in late 2008. However, many couples have been together much longer than this – married in all but name. Their 2008 or later wedding date is an artifact of the legal process, not a reflection of the time they have spent supporting one another or making mutual life decisions.
Despite this fact, Connecticut courts still date their alimony decisions from the start of the legal marriage, not the start of the relationship. Since few family law judges in Connecticut grant alimony to spouses who have been legally married less than ten years, this means that same-sex couples can find the alimony argument a tough one to make. Experienced legal help can mean the difference between life-saving spousal support and no support.
- Child custody and support questions may be complex.
The children of same-sex couples grow up knowing only that they have two parents that love them, and during a divorce, the children often have concerns about which parent will care for them and where they will live.
While custody and support questions appear in every divorce involving minor children, they get much more complex when the parents have not taken the legal steps needed to ensure that both parents have full legal parental rights – for instance, by formally adopting the child. Having a lawyer on your side helps ensure that you’re protecting your children’s best interests as well as your own.
Questions? You’re not alone. Every divorce is different, which means the advice you need must be tailored to your specific situation. To learn more, feel free to contact us any time at (860) 560-8160 to set up a private case evaluation.
For more information, check out some of our blog posts on this topic:
- Post-Election Stress and Adoption
- U.S. Supreme Court Decision Underscores that Second Parent Adoption Remains Critical for Same Sex Parents
- Landing on Your Feet (and Other Lessons on Life From Divorce Clients)
- Catching up with Connecticut: The IRS Issues Proposed Rulings on the Definition Of “Husband” And “Wife”
- Why, After the Supreme Court Marriage Ruling, Same Sex Spouses Should Still Adopt Their Non-Biological Children
- Why It is Especially Important that Connecticut Unmarried Same Sex Partners Adopt Their Children
- The Marry Month of June
- Removal Proceedings Can Be Reopened In Same-Sex Marriage Cases
- Connecticut Jurisdiction Over Divorce for Non-Residents
- When a Marriage Fails, Same Sex Legally Married Couples Might Not Be Able to Divorce
- California Light: The Connecticut Cooperative Post-Adoption Agreement
- March Madness: The Same Sex Marriage Edition
- Love and Taxes
- Love and Marriage