Saratoga Springs Same-Sex Divorce Lawyer
In 2011, the passage of the Marriage Equality Act gave same-sex partners the legal right to marry in New York. Same-sex spouses now have the rights and responsibilities of any married couple, including the right to divorce. If this action is needed, a seasoned divorce attorney could provide guidance.
If you are facing a divorce, you may have concerns about your residence, finances, and what type of custodial arrangement is best for your children. You may also have questions about custody if parentage was not legally established for both you and your spouse before or during your marriage. A Saratoga Springs same-sex divorce lawyer could discuss the requirements for obtaining a divorce, spousal support, child custody, and the division of assets.
Under New York Domestic Relations Law § 230, there are a couple of ways a spouse may be eligible to file for a divorce in Saratoga Springs, such as:
- Either spouse has lived in New York continuously for at least two years before filing for divorce
- The couple was married in the state, resided there as a married couple for at least one year, and the grounds for divorce occurred there
A local same-sex divorce attorney could determine whether the spouse may initiate a divorce proceeding in the state and explain how to file.
Reasons for a Same-Sex Spouse to Divorce
To initiate a divorce, a legally acceptable reason for the divorce, must be established, under N.Y. Dom. Rel. Law § 170. Possible grounds for divorce include:
- Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage, also known as a ‘no fault’ divorce
- Cruel and inhumane treatment by one spouse to the other making it unsafe for the abused spouse to continue to live with the abuser
- One spouse leaves the marital home with no intention to return, or ‘constructively’ abandons the other by refusing to have sexual relations for a year or more
- One spouse is imprisoned during the marriage and remains incarcerated for at least three years
- The spouses enter into a valid legal separation agreement resolving all marital issues and live apart for at least one year
- The Supreme Court of New York issues a Judgment of Separation and the spouses live separately for at least one year
A lawyer could determine if one of the listed grounds for divorce applies, and file the necessary documents to initiate the divorce.
Potential Complications in Same-Sex Divorce
Because gay marriage has been legal in New York for a relatively short period, many same-sex couples have been in committed relationships for years before their wedding. They may have resided together prior to marriage, purchased property, and combined income and assets in that time. A same-sex divorce lawyer in the area could help sort out the differences between marital property and separate property, and develop a strategy to equitably divide any bank accounts or other assets that may have been blended by the spouses, both before and after their marriage.
If the couple has children, it is critical to understand each spouse’s legal rights regarding custody and child support. Those rights may vary depending on how the child was brought into the relationship and whether both spouses have been established as the child’s legal parents.
In New York, if one spouse gives birth to a child, the other spouse is automatically deemed the legal parent. This can get more complicated if two men acquire a child through surrogacy or adoption, or if one spouse adopts the child during the marriage but the partner does not join in the adoption. The advice of a legal professional may be invaluable in determining each party’s role in the child’s life after a divorce is granted.
Talk with a Saratoga Springs Same-Sex Divorce Attorney
There are several unique challenges you may face as a same-sex couple in the event that your marriage ends. Whether it is a child custody dispute or a complex property division, a Saratoga Springs same-sex divorce lawyer could help you navigate your domestic differences. Place a call today to schedule a consultation.