Regardless of the length of the marriage, getting divorced requires time and effort. This is true for any marriage, whether same sex or not. Divorce can be more complicated for those in the LGBTQ community because they may have been together for many years but were not able to get legally married until the Supreme Court legalized same sex marriages in 2015.
Although far more common among LGBTQ folks, this issue is not necessarily unique to same sex divorces. There are also different-sex couples who maintained a domestic partnership long before tying the knot. Unlike several other states, California is a community property state that also recognizes registered domestic partners.
This means that everything spouses or domestic partners own together or purchased while either in a registered domestic partnership or marriage is considered equally owned by both parties. In the state of California, community property determination begins with the date a couple registered a domestic partnership or the date they got married.
For purposes of asset division, the court will consider either the length of the marriage or that of your registered domestic partnership. All assets gained during that time will be treated as community property and divided equitably between you. Parenting decisions are less clear-cut and you should discuss your specific situation with an attorney to get proper advice.
In the case where you never registered as domestic partners, the issues of asset division and parenting decisions are more complex. Should you run into complications with dividing assets, establishing custody, etc., you’re best off retaining the services of an experienced California attorney for same sex divorces who can help protect your rights.
Where to Start
The Buncher Law divorce attorneys in Irvine have expertise working with all issues specific to LGBTQ divorce, including asset valuation. This is an important step in the process because it’s possible for one spouse to attempt to hide or undervalue their assets. To ensure a fair and equitable division of community property, we partner with expert forensic accountants, when necessary, to perform an accurate and thorough examination of your finances.
If you would like to have a discussion about what steps to take in your divorce, call or click to set up a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.