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How To Seek A Divorce In A Gay Marriage
Many states have legalized gay marriage. The news is full of stories of happy same-sex couples uniting in matrimony. But as with any marriage, sometimes gay marriages don't work out.
Problems may arise when couples legally married in one state have moved to another state where same-sex marriage is not legal. Often, judges in these states don't want to grant a gay divorce because it would be a validation of your gay marriage. If he did that, it could set case law precedent for legalizing gay marriage in that state. However, in states where gay marriage is legal, it should be as easy for a gay couple to get a divorce as for a heterosexual couple.
How Can We Get A Gay Divorce
Let's say you live in a state where gay marriage and therefore gay divorce are allowed, and you and your spouse have decided that divorce is really what you want. Begin by collecting all your legal documents. not just your marriage certificate but your birth certificates and those of your children, property titles and deeds, proof of residence and tax records.
Even if you anticipate a smooth process, a lawyer who is familiar with the divorce process can be greatly helpful in numerous ways:
- Explain the state's laws and requirements
- Assist with paperwork
- Work with you and your spouse to negotiate issues of support, property and custody
- File your divorce petition and other documents with the court
The procedure will be a little different depending on whether the divorce is mutually agreed upon or is brought as an action by one partner against the other.
What About States That Don't Recognize Our Marriage
In states where gay divorces are not recognized, you may find the process more complicated. You or your partner may already have moved on to other relationships. There may be questions about child custody and division of property. Your attorney will stand with you in court, help you present your case and explain your options. If divorce is simply impossible for now, you should ask your lawyer if you can obtain a separation agreement that affords you some legal and financial protection.