The LGBTQ+ community spent generations fighting for legal rights that have finally been granted. Now, same-sex marriages are recognized across the country and in many parts of the world, but couples still face various legal issues. While legal problems are always stressful, anxiety is compounded during a divorce. You are already upset about your marriage’s breakdown, and these legal hurdles add to your stress. Our dedicated family attorneys are committed to helping the LGBT community navigate these difficult issues. Our Connecticut LGBTQ+ family lawyers keep abreast of the rapidly changing legal landscape and can provide you the representation you need during this difficult time.
COMMON ISSUES LGBTQ+ FAMILIES FACE
Every divorce has its set of challenges. However, the challenges in the LGBT community are unique. Common challenges include:
ALIMONY CALCULATIONS AND SAME-SEX DIVORCE
Many same-sex couples were together well before Connecticut recognized marriage equality in 2008. These couples might not have been legally married prior to 2008, but they combined finances and lived like married couples. However, when determining alimony, the court considers the start of the legal marriage instead of the relationship’s beginning. Unfortunately, the length of the marriage is one factor when considering alimony.
There are other factors involved, as well, so it’s wise to get an attorney to help you through the legal process. With an LGBTQ family attorney’s help, you might even be able to avoid court. Freed Marcroft is trained in mediation and collaborative law and can help you and your spouse reach an agreement on financial matters, including alimony.
CHILD CUSTODY AND SUPPORT
Child custody and support can be extraordinarily complex in cases when the nonbiological parent didn’t take legal steps to ensure full legal rights. In Connecticut, there is a presumption of parentage. That means both spouses are presumed to be parents. The presumption can be rebutted based on biology. The donor could come forward and claim parentage, removing the nonbiological parent’s legal rights. This can hurt child custody and child support cases.
Same-sex parents can avoid this problem by legally adopting the child. This removes the donor’s rights. If an adoption takes place, both parents are considered equally in cases of child custody and support.
Connecticut is an all-property and equitable distribution state. As an all-property state, almost all property is on the table during a divorce. The property is split fairly across both parties. The court considers different factors when diving property to ensure it is split fairly. The length of the marriage is one such factor. Many same-sex spouses were together for years or even decades before legally marrying, but the court only considers the date the marriage took place. This can make it harder for spouses to get an equitable share of the property. Fortunately, Freed Marcroft specializes in LGBT divorces and can help ensure a fair division of property.
SAME-SEX DIVORCE OPTIONS
Because of the issues that same-sex couples face when divorcing, many choose to avoid the courts and divorce through mediation or collaboration. This allows the couples to consider the length of the relationship and other factors that the courts might not recognize. However, if the two cannot agree outside of court, Freed Marcroft has a team of skilled litigators who have experience in same-sex divorce and law. The litigators also understand the unique challenges same-sex couples face at the end of their marriage and provide emotional support along with legal counsel.
Consult with a Connecticut LGBTQ+ Family Attorney Today
Freed Marcroft is happy to have our Connecticut LGBTQ+ family lawyers work with you to resolve your situation. Call us today.