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Divorce for same-sex couples can be legally difficult

Same-sex couples in Sacramento have had the legal right to get married since June of this year, thanks to a court decision. Thirteen other states besides California legally recognize same-sex marriage. However, what happens when people in a same-sex marriage want a divorce? It can mean a dead end in many states that do not recognize same-sex marriages as legal.

It would seem that every couple who has the right to get married should have the right to get divorced. As same-sex marriages are legislated differently in many states, numerous problems arise in how to deal with divorce and inheritances. Child custody issues become complicated for same-sex couples who raised kids together when only one of them is the adoptive parent. State law may not protect a parent who is not biologically related or who is not the legal adoptive parent, even if they've raised the child since birth and the child considers them a parent. During a divorce, matters of child custody and child support payments may become incredibly complicated.

More gay couples are signing prenuptial agreements now, but issues regarding alimony, inheritances and spousal support arise with changes in laws. Federal and state laws clash in many different areas regarding the recognition of same-sex marriage and divorce, and this can result in many same-sex couples locked in marriages they no longer wish to be a part of.

The divorce of a same-sex couple in Sacramento can be complex, especially if one of the partners moves out of state. An attorney who is experienced in California family law may be able to help someone complete a same-sex divorce by providing them with legal advice.

Source: Daily Beast, "The Gay Divorce Trap: When Same-Sex Marriage Goes Wrong", Lizzie Crocker, September 30, 2013

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
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Phone: 916-905-4805
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