San Diego LGBT Divorce Attorney
Are you and your same-sex spouse considering a divorce? This isn’t something you should have to navigate on your own. Fortunately, you don’t have to. The accomplished San Diego LGBT divorce attorneys at the San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC are here to help you get through this difficult time.
We know that you probably have a lot of questions. That’s why our San Diego family law firm offers an initial case assessment.
Our team will gladly review your case, provide an overview of what you should expect during the divorce process, and help you figure out your next steps. Give us a call at (619) 866-3756 or contact us online to schedule yours today.
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Do I Need a San Diego LGBT Divorce Lawyer?
Divorce isn’t easy. Unless you and your spouse are on the same page about every single detail of your split, it can be a contentious and stressful process. Even an uncontested LGBT divorce has its challenges. The fact that you’re an LGBT couple poses complications of its own.
Even though the Supreme Court has ruled that you have the right to marry and get divorced, the state and federal laws are still racing to catch up with the times. That’s why it can really be beneficial to enlist the help of a family law attorney in San Diego who has experience with LGBT divorce cases.
At the San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC, our San Diego family law attorneys have decades of experience helping spouses get divorced and forge new lives on their own. Our law firm puts compassion and integrity above all else. We believe that this approach allows us to connect with our clients and really understand what it is they want to achieve. When you call us for assistance with your same-sex divorce, we’ll help you answer the tough questions and fight to secure the outcome that’s best for you and your family.
We know how difficult this time can be, and we want to do everything we can to help you. Give us a call today to arrange a time to discuss your case in detail and learn more.
Residency Requirements For LGBT Divorce in San Diego
Many aspects of a divorce case are identical for heterosexual and LGBT couples. For example, it’s always a no-fault process in California, regardless of the spouses’ sexual orientation. Married couples never have to point fingers to get a divorce.
However, one thing that can differ is the residency requirements. For heterosexual couples, at least one spouse must live in California for at least six months before the couple can file for divorce. The spouse must also live in the county where they plan to file for divorce for a minimum of three months before the split.
The same isn’t true for LGBT couples. You can file for divorce in California regardless of where you currently reside. That’s true, even if you live out of state.
When Can LGBT Couples Get Divorced in San Diego?
There’s no residency requirement for LGBT couples. However, there is a minimum amount of time you’ll have to wait to have your divorce finalized. A San Diego family law judge will not sign off on your divorce until at least six months after you filed for divorce. More specifically, at least six months must have passed since the non-filing spouse was served the divorce papers.
This six-month period is non-negotiable. That’s true, even if every aspect of your divorce is set in stone. However, if things aren’t resolved, you can take advantage of this six-month period to negotiate the terms with your spouse.
Property Division in a San Diego LGBT Divorce Case
California is what’s called a community property state. In simple terms, this means that you and your spouse have equal rights to pretty much whatever either of you buy, own, or acquire after you get married. Common examples of community property can include:
- Income and wages
- Retirement benefits
- Real property
- Business interests
- Intellectual property
- Vehicles, and personal assets.
Most of the debt you take on – such as a home mortgage loan and credit card debt – is also considered to be community property.
Note, the property you owned before you got married is usually classified as “separate property,” unless you specifically took steps to share it with your spouse. You get to keep this property, no questions asked.
When you get a divorce, you and your spouse are both entitled to one-half of all community property. If you don’t have a premarital agreement, you’ll have to figure out how to divide your property equally. This is true, even one spouse brought in a majority of the income or made most purchases.
Dividing marital assets tends to be a very difficult aspect of the divorce process. That’s where it can really help to have an experienced divorce attorney in San Diego on your side. At the San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC, we can help you identify which property you really want to keep and which assets you’re willing to give up. We will also help you determine whether it might be best to liquidate some assets and split the cash down the middle. These are challenging questions, but we’ll be there help you every step of the way.
Important Information For Divorcing Same-Sex Couples Who Have Kids
Divorce is particularly challenging when children are involved. Our law firm knows just how much of an impact the process can have on young lives. We strive to make things as easy as possible for them. We’ll help you navigate the challenges of child custody and child support issues, working hard to find an amicable arrangement that works for everyone involved.
If you believe that your soon-to-be ex-spouse might be a threat to your children, we will fight to protect them. We can petition for sole legal and physical custody and, if necessary, ask for a restraining order. Keep in mind, California prefers that children maintain contact with both parents after a divorce, so you’ll have to have a compelling reason to ask for sole custody if your spouse isn’t on board.
Note that child custody issues can be more complicated in LGBT divorces if both spouses are not natural and/or adoptive parents. If you’re not a legal parent, getting custody can be difficult. For that reason, it really helps to discuss your rights and options with our legal team.
Spousal Support and Your California LGBT Divorce
Sometimes, one spouse earns significantly more than the other. That could be due to the fact that they have different jobs, or that one spouse took time off to support the family. When these spouses divorce, it can be quite challenging for the lesser-earning spouse to land on their feet. Spousal support can help to make sure that both spouses are able to maintain their standard of living after a divorce.
Spousal support can be requested in any divorce matter in California, including LGBT cases. Whether you want to ask for spousal support or contest your spouse’s request, our qualified legal team can help. First, we’ll attempt to negotiate directly with your spouse.
If that isn’t successful, we can turn to other tools, such as mediation or arbitration. If those efforts don’t work, our attorneys can argue your case in front of a judge, who will then have the power to decide if alimony is appropriate and, if so, how much should be ordered.
Alternatives to Getting a Divorce in California
Did you know that you might not have to get a divorce? Other options might be available to help you and your same-sex spouse end your relationship.
You might qualify for an annulment if your marriage is void or voidable. This might be the case if your marriage certificate was never filed, if you’re related, if one of you was already married, or if the marriage is based on a fraud. An annulment essentially means that your marriage never even happened, at all.
If your marriage is legally valid, then an annulment isn’t an option. However, summary dissolution might be. Think of this as an express divorce.
You can qualify for a summary dissolution if you:
- Have been married for less than five years
- Do not have children together, and
- Don’t own real property together.
There might be times when you want to split up but, for one reason or another, don’t want to get a divorce. In this case, a legal separation might work for you. When you separate, you can enjoy the legal benefits of marriage (e.g., tax, retirement, health), but live separate lives.
Schedule a Consultation With Our San Diego LGBT Divorce Lawyers
Divorce can be a very difficult time. You deserve support and guidance as you move forward. When you call the experienced San Diego LGBT divorce lawyers at the San Diego Divorce Lawyers, APC, that’s what you’ll find. Our law firm is here to help you make the tough decisions and figure out how to move forward with your life. Whether you want assistance with mediation or need to take your matter before a judge, we’ll be there for you.
Arrange a time to sit down to discuss your case in detail today by calling our San Diego law office. Our team will gladly offer some preliminary legal advice and help you figure out how to end your same-sex marriage or registered domestic partnership.