Couples in their 50s or older who divorce have many challenges to face, such as dividing their retirement and making sure they each have sufficient funds to avoid financial struggle. Same-sex couples have their own unique issues, especially if they established a common law partnership in the years prior to the recognition of same-sex marriages.
If you are in a same-sex marriage, you are over 50 and you are planning to divorce, you can expect to deal with those conflicts and more.
Addressing the issues up front
Like many couples for whom the law denied the right to marry, you and your partner may have lived in a domestic partnership before the Supreme Court decision that allowed same-sex marriage. If you filed for domestic partnership status through in court, you may wish to speak to an attorney about whether this bond affects your divorce. In some states, domestic partnerships automatically converted to marriages after the Supreme Court decision, but in other states, the decision dissolved those partnerships.
In addition to dealing with the legal status of your partnership, your years of living together prior to your marriage may present other issues that will complicate your divorce, including:
- The legal status of any children you are still raising may affect your rights to custody or visitation after the divorce, so you may want to formally adopt any children who are not biologically yours.
- The court may not address the division of any property you purchased or obtained together prior to your marriage since it is not marital property.
- Even if you have been together for many years, it is the number of years you were legally married that typically affect the terms of any spousal support, which may be critical if you are nearing retirement.
You may also wish to learn how your divorce will affect your tax burden, especially if spousal support is involved. In fact, there may be other factors that could complicate your divorce. This is why you would be wise to seek assistance from a compassionate Texas attorney who has experience in both gray divorce and the evolving laws related to same-sex divorce.