A dissolution of marriage is a divorce. The District of Columbia does not discriminate based on same-sex or different-sex couples when it comes to divorce. In D.C., a domestic-partnership provision and same-sex couples can be legally married. A couple can only get an official divorce from the court if they have been separated and living separately and apart from each other or they can be living in the same household as long as they are not cohabiting with their spouse for a period of at least six (6) months. However, it is best practice for the parties to live in separate households especially in a case where one of the parties does not want to get a divorce.
Divorce can be emotional and complicated. You do not have to handle your divorce alone. Let a DC same-sex divorce lawyer help. A dedicated divorce attorney can help you through this process and make sure it is as seamless and simple as possible.
Common Problems Same-Sex Couples Run Into During The Divorce Process
Same-sex couples run into the same problems other couples face when divorcing, and a common one may be figuring out which property is considered sole and separate property, and which is marital. The distinction is extremely important because if the property is sole and separate, it is awarded exclusively to one party, and if marital property, it will be equitably distributed between the parties. Equitable does not necessarily mean a 50-50 split, and often can mean something very different because it is designed by the courts to mean fair, even though it may seem particularly unfair in any case.
Is Child Custody Different in a Same-Sex Marriage Dissolution?
There is no distinction between how child custody is determined in same-sex versus different-sex divorce cases because the court always considers the best interest of the child paramount in any child-custody determination.
Requirements For Divorce
D.C. law has requirements for the parties to be a resident before a divorce can be filed. One or both of the parties must be a resident of D.C. for six months prior to filing the complaint about divorce. These requirements differ in surrounding jurisdictions.
There are exceptions to the jurisdiction rules. For example, if they are in a same-sex marriage and they want to get divorced because the spouse’s jurisdiction did not recognize the marriage, it is not going to recognize a divorce. D.C. allows spouses from other jurisdictions where the marriage is not recognized to go ahead and get divorced in the District of Columbia.
What Is The Length Of Time Spouses Must Live Separately Before a Divorce Can Be Filed?
D.C. law has requirements for the length of time a couple must live separately before a divorce can be filed. It depends whether the couple agrees to be divorced. If a couple agrees to be divorced, then they only need to live separately and apart without cohabitation for six months. If they do not agree to be divorced, then they must live separately and apart without cohabitation for an entire year. Spouses are allowed to live under the same roof in the same household as long as they do not share the same bed or engage in marital relations.
How Long Do Divorce Cases Last in D.C?
How long the dissolution of marriage takes can vary. The more assets, property, debt, and money a divorcing couple has, the longer it could take to finalize the divorce. It could take even longer if the parties do not agree on the value of the property.
When it comes to dividing assets, a local lawyer is essential. A same-sex divorce attorney can also hire an expert to determine what the value of a property is if the parties cannot agree. If they do not agree to custody when they split up and are living into different homes, then that will take more time because the judge has to determine a custody arrangement that is in the best interest of the child. There are many factors that a judge considers, just like there are many factors that a judge considers in determining how property should be equitably distributed.
Let a DC Divorce Same-Sex Attorney Help
Someone in a same-sex marriage who is considering a divorce or a separation should contact an experienced divorce lawyer, just as anyone in any marriage should. They should understand their rights, the law, and what the law would provide with respect to whatever their desires may be in making sure that property or assets are awarded to them as opposed to the other party. Call today to learn more about how a DC same-sex divorce lawyer could help with your marriage dissolution.