While marriage and divorce equality exists, many same-sex couples thinking about divorce may not realize that there are still unique challenges that they may face in the divorce process. They revolve around Mount Holly, New Jersey, property division and child custody.
Dividing the family assets
Family assets are divided into marital assets, which are split between the spouses and nonmarital assets; which stay with their respective owners. For opposite-sex couples, this can be a complicated process, but usually, unless it is a later-in-life marriage, most of the assets are marital. This means the division will be largely equitable or fair.
On the other hand, for same-sex couples, they may have been together for years, if not decades, prior to getting married because they may not have been legally allowed to marry. This means that one spouse may be “entitled” to much more of the Mount Holly, New Jersey, assets because, even though they were purchased jointly, they are only in the name of one spouse.
Determining child custody
This difference between same-sex and opposite-sex divorce is also highlighted in determining child custody. This is because the law looks to biology and adoption to determine child custody, but favors biology over adoption. This means that a biological parent may get primary or full custody, even when dual or split custody is the better, more just outcome.
In addition, for those parents who “never got around” to making their parentage legal (i.e., they never legally adopted their child), they may face the loss of their child and have no legal recourse. These are issues that Mount Holly, New Jersey, opposite-sex couples rarely deal with, if at all.
How can we avoid all of this?
Of course, the best way to avoid divorce issues is to not get a divorce. And, to that end, many couples find success with marriage and family counseling. However, if that is not effective, divorce may have to be an option.
The way you can avoid these issues in the future is through legal documents that will protect both spouses: a Mount Holly, New Jersey, prenuptial agreement, postnuptial agreement or a cohabitation agreement. All of these can help outline how assets will be split and how child custody and support will be handled, should a divorce eventually occur.