Everyone has the same rights to marriage and divorce, regardless of gender and sexual orientation. However, same-sex couples often face unique practical challenges when pursuing a divorce. If you are considering divorce, work with a seasoned attorney who has experience handling same-sex divorces.
A Kernersville LGBTQ divorce lawyer is prepared for the challenges that can arise when you dissolve your marriage. At Apple Payne Law, we are dedicated to helping families navigate life’s important decisions and can provide wise counsel and steady support to ease your stress throughout the separation process.
LGBTQ divorce can be more complicated than opposite-sex divorce when it comes to matters concerning children. Many same-sex couples raise children, but sometimes the two spouses are not both legal parents of the children. Only legal parents have custody rights, and only legal parents have child support obligations.
A non-biological parent can become a child’s legal parent through adoption. If a spouse adopts their partner’s biological or adopted child, both spouses are legal parents. Custody and child support issues proceed in the same manner as they do with opposite-sex couples.
A child can only have two legal parents at one time. If a couple conceived a child through surrogacy or sperm donation, the biological parent might still have parental rights. If a spouse had a child with a partner who is still living, that person is the child’s legal parent. A spouse who has not adopted a child they are helping to raise should consult a Kernersville LBGTQ divorce attorney about protecting their relationship with the child after separation.
Ironically, when a couple cannot get along well enough to stay married, they must agree on various complicated issues before a court issues a divorce decree or file their claims with the court. If the couple cannot reach an agreement on one or more relevant issues, our skilled family law attorneys can protect your rights, help ensure fairness in the process and represent you all the way up to trial.
Because LGBTQ marriage only became legal in the state in late 2014, many judges have far less experience in same-sex divorce. These factors could make a same-sex divorce trial even more anxiety-provoking than opposite-sex divorce trials. Working with an experienced attorney can ease this process and relieve some of the anxiety associated.
All couples would benefit from developing separation and property settlement or support/custody agreements before a trial. Doing so allows them to maintain control over decisions important to their family and make arrangements that work within the context of their family dynamics. A knowledgeable LGBTQ divorce attorney has strategies for reaching pre-trial agreements even when Kernersville spouses are not communicating well.
Couples must live separately for at least one year before they can file for divorce in this North Carolina. It is helpful for exes to use this time trying to agree on the issues they must resolve before divorcing rather than relying on an unknown judge to make a fair decision after an expensive and stressful trial.
A couple can submit an agreement to a judge as a consent order at any time in the divorce process.
An uncontested divorce is an option for a couple that develops arrangements for property division, s (alimony), and child custody and support before they file their claim for divorce. They could file their agreements with the Complaint for Divorce and have their divorce finalized within a 90 days.
If a couple cannot agree on every issue, a Kernersville same-sex divorce lawyer would negotiate with the other spouse’s attorney to try and reach an agreement. The attorneys would put them in writing, and after both parties have consented present it to the judge for entry of the order.
When the attorneys cannot reach the desired result, the couple will likely go to mediation. Mediation requires them to meet with a neutral third party (almost always a trained family law attorney, usually selected by the parties) who will guide their discussions and help them find common ground to create agreements on the issues still in dispute.
North Carolina Statutes §50-70 establishes collaborative divorce, a relatively new concept that works especially well when a couple has complicated finances or children with special needs, though any couple might benefit from the process. It is a team effort involving both parties’ attorneys and other professionals with expertise in the issues that divide the couple. The other professionals could be experts in taxation, business valuation, child development, education, or many other disciplines. Working together, the couple and the professionals develop agreements that address the couple’s specific needs in the divorce.
Although the laws governing divorce are the same for everyone, LGBTQ spouses sometimes face unique issues. An attorney familiar with the challenges of LGBTQ divorce could be a strong ally as you navigate this process.
It is best to consult a Kernersville LGBTQ attorney when you begin considering divorce, so you can learn the legal requirements and start negotiating with your spouse. Let our team at Apple Payne Law get to work for you. Call today to learn more about what we can do for you.