Since the Supreme Court case came down changing how same-sex relationships and marriages have been recognized, Leesburg has seen quite a few same sex divorce cases. Often, these cases tend to be resolved by the parties outside of the court. This is done through extensive negotiations, during which the assistance of and representation by a skilled attorney can be a significant advantage. If you find yourself needing a Leesburg same-sex divorce lawyer, do not hesitate to contact today.
Just like with opposite-sex divorces, same-sex divorce can be resolved and should be resolved by a means that does not occur inside the courthouse. The benefits of mediation and arbitration are that the parties have, to a great degree, control over the resolution of their case. Whereas, if the parties go to court, they are putting their case and the outcome of their case in the hands of somebody they have not met.
In terms of the benefits of litigation, a situation of abuse in a relationship or other extenuating circumstances such as substance abuse or addiction, litigation is not preferable. However, in cases where there is abuse, addiction, or other complicated issues, then litigation can be beneficial because it forces a resolution and allows the court to hear what the specific issues are and consider them in crafting an equitable outcome of the case.
Benefits of Marital Agreements
There are two types of marital agreements that can be extremely helpful in clarifying potentially contentious topics when it comes time for a Leesburg same-sex divorce attorney to assist. The pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements are explained below.
A same sex couple could benefit from a prenuptial agreement as any couple would. When a person enters into a marriage if they are able to put together a prenuptial agreement that would govern how property, support, and other items would be addressed after a divorce.
These agreements save couples a great deal of expense and stress should the marriage not work out. This is because the parameters are already set in place in terms of how financial issues will be resolved in the event of a separation.
A post-nuptial agreement has a lot of the same benefits as a prenuptial agreement does. This is an agreement that will resolve financial issues and perhaps other issues should the marriage break down. If the parties are able to spell out certain agreements about what should happen should the parties ultimately separate and divorce, that agreement could ultimately save them a good deal of grief, uncertainty, and cost if the marriage should fall apart.
Potential Property Settlement Issues
If a couple that has been living together never formalized the relationship in terms of a legal marriage, then there will be no legal means for the parties to divide property in terms of divorce.
What will happen is if, for example, a home was purchased and only one party’s name was on the home, then the legal owner will be keeping the home, whereas if the parties are married, then the court would have the jurisdiction to divide up the property based on each party’s receptive contributions and other factors.
Complications in Determining Child Custody
Same-sex parenting in terms of custody and visitation can be rather complicated in Virginia if both parents do not have a biological or legal connection to the child. If there is a parent who has not adopted a child and does not have any biological connections to the child, they will not be given nearly the same legal standing as biological or adoptive parents.
That is the issue that becomes most complicated when dealing with a same-sex couple that is going into a custody and visitation battle with minor children in Virginia.
Biological vs Non-Biological Parents
Often, the non-biological parent wants to share custody with the biological parent in a same-sex couple divorce. This is a big issue in Virginia and the law is still developing on this. There have been cases in Virginia where a non-biological parent who has not legally adopted the child of the relationship is not recognized as a parent.
As a result, the non-biological parent, assuming they have not adopted the child, is going to be in special need of the legal guidance of a Leesburg same-sex divorce lawyer in terms of being able to craft a case and an argument to the court that custody should be divided between the two.
Why Contact an Experienced Lawyer
Contacting a Leesburg same-sex divorce lawyer is important for the same reason that it would be for opposite-sex couples. That is to say, the parties will receive legal advice, understand their rights, and hopefully be able to protect themselves from a bad outcome.
However, this is particularly important in the same sex community because the laws have been changing regarding which states recognize same-sex marriages, which partnerships or civil unions might be recognized over others, and, at this point in time, it is a bit complicated to determine, for example, something as simple as when a marriage was legally created under Virginia law. A Leesburg same-sex divorce lawyer will there be particularly helpful.
There are a couple of reasons that make contacting an attorney important. Because the law in Virginia is still developing to a point of recognition of all parents it is critical for parties to have legal advice so that they understand what the state of the law is, which parties will be recognized legally by the court in relation to the children, and how to proceed from there. In addition to that, it can be helpful to have an attorney who has experience in dealing with same-sex family law issues just in terms of understanding the nature of the relationship and other details that can be particular to same-sex families.