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Challenges you may face in a same-sex divorce

| Sep 22, 2020 | Divorce |

With the introduction of marriage equality after the 2015 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, also comes a wave of same-sex couples seeking divorce.

If you live in Illinois and your marriage is coming to an end, you likely have unanswered questions about the rules of same-sex divorce.

Determining alimony

When courts determine alimony, one of the biggest factors considered is the number of years of marriage. In a marriage between same-sex spouses, the length of the union may not be a clear-cut number. Some couples may have lived together monogamously or filed a domestic partnership in another state prior to the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. The court overseeing your divorce may not recognize these initial arrangements in your relationship.

According to Forbes, an inaccurate reflection of the length of your marriage could result in a financial impact on alimony awards.

Division of marital property

The division and distribution of marital property for same-sex couples is also an area that laws have not yet addressed. Divorcing spouses should aim for a fair and equitable distribution of marital assets because a court might not address the length of time you lived together monogamous before the law allowed you to marry.

Legal relationship of your child

If your child was born before your legal marriage, it is possible that a court will not grant custodial rights to the nonbiological parent. To avoid issues in this area, the nonbiological parent must legally adopt the child.

Overall, you and your spouse may benefit from exploring collaborative divorce or other alternative dispute resolution methods so the terms of the end of your marriage fit your situation.