Jane-Ashley McMillan, Attorney at Law

The unique aspects of an LGBT divorce

Divorce is difficult for both spouses, no matter how amicable the two parties may be. However, the process of ending a marriage can be particularly difficult for LGBT couples. These couples face unique challenges in their relationships, and their divorces are no different. Being aware of these things may help a couple avoid difficulties as they navigate the legal process of ending their marriage.

There are specific stressors that are unique to LGBT divorces, and even though same-sex marriage is legal throughout the county, bias can still have a real impact on these couples. LGBT marriages are now legally recognized, but their divorces can be complicated when these couples have already been cohabitating and sharing finances for years or even decades before same-sex marriage was legal. 

Legal complications and unique challenges

Divorce is a legally complex process, involving the distribution of shared assets, dividing marital assets, deciding what happens to the family home and even figuring out how to share custody. These issues are already complicated, but LGBT couples may find them uniquely challenging for the following reasons:

  • The length of the relations or period of cohabitation can precede the date of marriage by a significant amount of time. This can make it difficult to fairly divide assets.
  • In LGBT families, it is common for one parent to be the legal parent. This can make issues such as visitation rights and child custody extremely complicated.
  • There may be bias deeply ingrained in the legal process that can affect the outcome of LGBT divorces or how an LGBT individual can fight for custody rights or property rights in a divorce.

The above examples are only some of the ways that legal complications and intricacies can impact an LGBT couple as they try and resolve their divorce and move forward. Many of the applicable legal standards that apply in these situations are still new, and there may not be a set precedent. Because of this, it is in the interests of a person facing this type of divorce to speak with an experienced legal ally before embarking on this journey.

The importance of experienced help

No matter the type of marriage, you will find it beneficial to work with an experienced attorney who can help you at every step of the divorce process. Before you agree to a settlement or make any choices that could impact your future, you may want to speak with a Texas family law attorney who can help you protect your immediate and long-term interests.

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