If you’re like many people, there’s a lot you don’t know about LGBTQ divorce. Is it the same as every other divorce, or are there nuances that make it different (or that would make your case harder)?
These are five things you need to know about LGBTQ divorce – but if you have more questions, or if you need to file, call us right away at 209-546-6870 to schedule a consultation with an experienced LGBTQ divorce attorney in Stockton.
LGBTQ Divorce: 5 Things You Need to Know
In the majority of cases, LGBTQ divorce is just like every other divorce. However, there are some things that can make it more complicated (again, like all other divorces), including issues like alimony, child custody and the division of business assets. Here are five things you need to know about LGBTQ divorce:
- If you have children, you’ll have to work out a custody arrangement.
- One of you may be entitled to alimony.
- You may need to hire a professional to value your business.
- If you lived together long before you were married, it could affect what you’re entitled to.
- If your child was born before you were legally married, you may encounter complications.
Let’s take a deeper look at each of these.
LGBTQ Divorce Fact #1: If you have children, you’ll have to work out a custody arrangement.
Like all parents, if you have children, you’ll have to work with your soon-to-be ex-spouse to work out a custody arrangement. In the vast majority of cases where parents work out an arrangement that’s fair to the kids, the courts will sign off on it.
LGBTQ Divorce Fact #2: One of you may be entitled to alimony.
Depending on the circumstances of your marriage, one of you may be entitled to receive spousal support. You or your spouse can ask the court to grant it, and it’s up to the judge in your case to decide – unless, of course, you work together to reach a fair amount that the judge agrees to. The courts decide how much spousal support changes hands based on several factors, including:
- The supported spouse’s marketable skills, and whether there’s a job market for those skills
- How long the supported spouse was unemployed in order to contribute to domestic duties in the marriage
- How much the supported spouse contributed to the other spouse’s education, training, licensing or career advancement
- Each spouse’s age and health
- Documented history of domestic violence by either spouse
- Tax consequences for both spouses
- Other factors the court deems necessary
LGBTQ Divorce Fact #3: You may need to hire a professional to value your business.
If you own a business that you need to divide during your divorce, it’s probably in your best interest to work with a professional to value it accurately. The form of the business you own – whether it’s a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation – has an effect on how it’s divided. For example, a sole proprietorship is divisible when you divorce, but other types of companies are more nuanced and probably require professional help.
LGBTQ Divorce Fact #4: If you lived together long before you were married, it could affect what you’re entitled to.
Traditionally, California courts have ruled that spousal support lasts for about half the length of a marriage if the marriage lasted less than 10 years. Unfortunately, though, current California residents who were together for a long time but couldn’t marry in their own state – like Texas, for example, until 2015 – have been married for far less than 10 years but together for longer.
In cases like these, it’s often best to work with a divorce mediator who can help you.
Related: What is divorce mediation?
LGBTQ Divorce Fact #5: If your child was born before you were legally married, you may encounter complications.
If you have a child who was born before you were legally married to your spouse, you probably need to establish parentage (if you haven’t already done so). This is necessary if you’re going to work out custody and child support, and it’s something you’ll have to talk to your Stockton divorce attorney about if you’re a divorcing parent – particularly if you’re not biologically related to your child.
Related: What is parentage in California?
Do You Need to Talk to a Stockton Divorce Lawyer About LGBTQ Divorce?
When you and your spouse are splitting up, it’s rough – but we can help you through the legal side of it. Call us right away at 209-546-6870 to schedule a consultation with an attorney, whether you’re just thinking about divorce, you’re completely ready to file, or your spouse has already filed. We may be able to help you get the best possible outcome.