When courts then legislators legalized same-sex marriage, they also paved the way for same-sex divorces. In many ways, same-sex divorce will function the same as any other marriage dissolution case in Frederick County.

The divorcing parties will need to determine how to divide their assets, schedule time with any minor children, and the possibility of alimony and child support. There might be certain nuances on impact on same-sex divorces. Discussing your divorce case with a Frederick same-sex divorce lawyer might be able to provide you with a better understanding of the process, requirements, and legal options.

Requirements for Filing Divorce

When filing for divorce in Frederick, the party initiating the process will need to determine the proper jurisdiction. The proper place to file will be the county where the petitioner lives, where the children live or where the respondent or non-filing party resides.  Another proper place to file would be where the grounds for divorce arose. The person filing will also have to determine grounds upon which to base their divorce petition. This is more difficult than it sounds.

Maryland State law allows individuals to file for a limited divorce or an absolute divorce. Limited divorces will involve some of the same decisions, including, parenting agreements, and alimony or child support payments. However, individuals who complete a limited divorce are still legally married, and therefore will not be able to remarry.  In addition, real property cannot be divided upon a limited divorce so the parties will have to wait for an absolute divorce to resolve those issues.

Before a person files these documents, they should decide the type of divorce their filing and where they need to file their petition. Once the party files, the other individual will need to respond to the petition in writing, and the case will proceed. Speaking to an attorney could help an individual better understand how to engage in a same-sex divorce process in Frederick.

De Facto Parents

One issue same-sex couples sometimes contend with is that one of the parents may not be a biological or adoptive parent of the parties’ child or children. However, the individuals might have raised that child as their own. Maryland State law provides a four-point test to determine if a parent has de facto status and, therefore, rights related to a child.

The test includes the following factors:

  • Did a biological or adoptive parent consent and fostered a parent-like relationship with the child?
  • Do the petitioner and the child live or lived in the same home?
  • Did the petitioner assume obligations related to parenthood, including child care, education, development, and financial contributions?
  • Did the petitioner serve as a parental role for a sufficient amount of time to bond with the child and create a dependent relationship?

Child custody is one of the most emotional aspects of any divorce/separation case. In these situations, it is wise to speak with a same-sex divorce attorney in Frederick.

Dividing Property in Frederick Same-Sex Divorces

Property division in same-sex divorce cases might include certain complications based on when the parties got married and how long they were together prior to marriage. Sometimes, individuals who lived together and purchased property together many years before the legalization of same-sex marriage may not have rights to property that they would have if they had legally married at an earlier time.

It will be essential to discuss these potential complications when negotiating the terms of a divorce. Individuals should speak to a Frederick same-sex divorce attorney about their property, at which assets are marital and belong to each individual.

Hiring a Same-Sex Divorce Attorney in Frederick

Whether your divorce is contested or amicable, the results of the documents to which you agree will impact you financially and emotionally well into the future. Divorce might be an unpleasant time in your life but getting the agreements right will help you as you enter the next phase of your life.

If you are divorcing your spouse, you will need to learn about the divorce process and your legal rights. Speak to a Frederick same-sex divorce lawyer today for a consultation.