Common High Net Worth Divorce Issues Encountered by Same-Sex Couples

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The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriages in 2015 was life-changing for couples that previously lacked the protection granted to heterosexual married couples.

This meant that LGBTQ individuals could benefit from tax exemptions, provide their spouses with coverage through their health care plan, and claim survivor and death benefits.

Unfortunately, marriages don't always work out like they are initially planned, so along with the right to marry came the right to divorce and split the community property. Nonetheless, married gay couples can face particular complications related to parental and property rights.

This is especially applicable if the spouses began their relationship prior to getting married. In order to start over clean, it's essential to terminate the marriage appropriately to protect each other and the children.

Aside from the classic marital issues that lead to unreconcilable differences, divorce among same-sex couples can be attributed to several stressors that minorities face in general. Such stressors may include acceptance difficulties among the families of origin or unemployment discrimination and can destabilize same-sex relationships.

Your Relationship History May Impact your Same-Sex Divorce

From a legal standpoint, same-sex divorces occur in the same manner as straight couples divorce, concerning:

  • alimony and child support
  • equitable distribution
  • custody and parenting time

However, there are a few legal nuances that same-sex couples need to take into account, which refer to:

  • children adoption
  • the domestic partnership entered prior to the formal marriage

LGBTQ married couples can file for a high net worth divorce in Florida with relative ease. Parties need to prove they are legally married to each other, their union is irretrievably broken, and they have resided in Florida for six months before filing for divorce. However, individuals who entered a domestic partnership or civil union before marriage might find themselves in a tangled situation.

When it comes to property division, issues may arise with respect to:

  • commingled funds
  • joint property acquired before the marriage

Should the parties not agree on the division of assets, the court will consider the principle of equitable distribution, taking into account several relevant factors, such as the duration of the marriage.

Adoption by LGBTQ married couples is legal in all U.S. states. This can also imply that the wives of mothers that conceived during the marriage using assisted reproduction are considered the child's other parent. Nevertheless, custody determinations for the couple's children may be complicated if a non-biological parent did not go through the legal adoption process.

Spousal support or alimony for gay spouses is awarded under the same rules that are in place for straight couples. Courts factor in the length of the marriage to determine alimony. For example, permanent alimony is only awarded for long marriages that lasted over seventeen years. Palimony is not recognized in Florida, so there is no financial support available based on the number of years a same-sex couple spent living together before their legal marriage.

Seek the guidance of an experienced high net worth divorce lawyer

The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary can assist with complex same-sex divorce matters, property division, and child custody disputes.

Same-sex couples aiming for marriage dissolution in Florida need to seek legal counsel with a local attorney familiar with specific state laws. Mr. Sean M. Cleary is experienced in same-sex high net worth divorces and is here to provide the top-notch services you require.

Every high asset divorce is different, and only a reputable attorney can be prepared to address every possible scenario their clients can encounter. Mr. Cleary uses his experience to tailor appropriate strategies for each client and provide realistic solutions focused on results.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this site is not formal legal advice, also the site does not allow you to form an attorney-client relationship.