Ending a marriage is a difficult feat, whether it’s for a same sex marriage or traditional union. Consequently, there are certain aspects of a gay union that make things more challenging. The same problems occur in the severing of both types of marriages. Question like “how do we fairly split the assets,” “who gets the children,” and “is there a need for spousal support,” all come into play. The law is clear about these issues regardless of who is seeking absolution from their marriage.
Division of Assets
It’s wise to have a division of asset statement in a prenuptial agreement. Both heterosexual and gay unions need this document. When no such paperwork exists, then it’s up to the court to ensure an equitable division of property. Any debts that were acquired during the union, as well as debts one party doesn’t know about, is now the responsibility of both parties. These bills will be split down the middle, and the court will order them paid in a fair manner. The court will not waver over the responsibility of the accumulated debt
The Dilemma Of Spousal Support
In a traditional marriage, the husband has a legal obligation to support his wife and provide for her, if he has a more substantial income. When the couple divorces, it doesn’t negate the husband’s responsibilities to her. Spousal support was designed to help the wife be able to live beyond the severing of their union. Just because a couple is of the same sex doesn’t relieve them from their obligation.
One spouse can be ordered to make maintenance payments once the divorce is final. The court must make the decision on which party must pay. If one party makes way more money than the other one, it doesn’t matter if they are male or female. The court has the jurisdiction to order such support. The couple can negotiate and come to an understanding, but the court must sign off on the agreement.
Child Custody and Support
The family court must deal with several obstacles regarding LQBTQ parents. Making a fair determination can be almost impossible. Because both parties are the same sex, only one can legally be the biological parent to the child. So the court must look at surrogate parents, as well as the natural parent, to make an informed decision.
Many LGBTQ couples use a surrogate to have a child. When this is the case, then this person is also figured into the equation. They may not be active in the child’s life, but they gave birth, and they are given the status of the biological parent. This means that the non-biological parent, who may be raising the child, has little rights. It’s one of the areas of the law that doesn’t seem fair.
The problem is that the non-biological parent doesn’t have any legal ties to the child, even though they might be the most critical part. There is some consideration given when the person has taken care of the child financially, physically, and emotionally. Being an essential part of the child’s life doesn’t go unnoticed by the court. The length of time also weighs heavily on the decision.
It’s best to have a formal adoption to gain a legal relationship with the child. The surrogate will relinquish all rights, and those rights dare given to the former non-biological parent. These agreements should be done before the divorce to ensure there are no legal issues regarding status. If the biological parent is seeking child support from a non-biological parent, the court must have substantial grounds to make this person pay for a child that is not legally their responsibility.
The Need For Legal Representation in LGBTQ Divorces
Some people try to handle dissolutions and divorces without the assistance of legal counsel. However, when dealing with same sex marriages and custody issues, many conflicts can arise. Though New York is fair concerning the division of assets and the support of children and adults, they still must follow the law. If you are in a same sex marriage and you want out, call a Brooklyn divorce attorney who specializes in these matters. You cannot afford to make a mistake in such substantial issues.