Despite a history of discrimination and fierce legal battles, marriage between two people of the same sex is legally no different than marriage between a couple of opposite sex. Unfortunately, the experience of divorce in a same-sex marriage is also identical—and no less complicated.
From our experience as a divorce and family law firm in San Jose, CA, our team at Seabrook Law Offices has worked closely with divorcing couples, and we’ve found that LGBTQ couples face similar ordeals in the trials of divorce. If you are a partner in such a divorce, our divorce attorneys will help you through the divorce process with the same compassion we afford to other couples.
Same-Sex Marriage Laws in California
The road to legalizing same-sex marriage in California has been long and not always straightforward. In 2006, the California Supreme court ruled that banning same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, and for a short time in 2008, same-sex couples were able to marry in the state.
California voters narrowly passed Proposition 8 in November 2008. The amendment backtracked on same-sex marriage laws, establishing that marriage would only be valid between men and women. Although the couples who had married in the short period before Proposition 8 passed could preserve their marriages, the amendment caused many legal issues regarding same-sex marriage in California.
California judge Vaughn Walker found Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional in a 2010 court ruling. His opinion was that the amendment infringed on equal protection clauses, and he appealed his ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Finally, in 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Judge Walker’s decision. It decided that the opposition could not stand against Judge Walker’s ruling, and same-sex marriage became legal.
Divorce Laws for Same-Sex Couples in California
Though the law has wavered regarding same-sex marriage, divorce laws have remained the same for all marriages in California.
- California is a “no-fault” divorce state. Neither party needs to provide proof of fault in their reasoning for the divorce. You may claim irreconcilable differences between spouses, meaning that no possibility exists that you will stay together in the future.
- California has a residency requirement. Whether you are the one filing for divorce or the one being filed against, both persons must be residents of the state for six months and residents of the county for three months. The court can waive this requirement for same-sex couples married in California but living in another state. However, you should note that any court-ordered agreements you made with the other person in California may not be enforceable in another state.
- You will face a waiting period after filing for the divorce. The divorce cannot be final until six months have passed after filing the paperwork or their first court appearance. If the judge has reason to believe a possibility exists that the spouses may reconcile, they can halt the divorce proceedings for up to thirty days.
Seabrook Law Offices: A California Divorce Attorney Near Me in San Jose, CA
The decision to get a divorce may be the hardest one you will ever have to make. In some cases, it may be even more difficult, considering the lengths you might have gone through for the marriage to happen in the first place. When you face such a tough time, you need help getting your new life in order.
Our divorce lawyers empathize with your situation and can support you in mediation, negotiation, or litigation. Divorce proceedings do not always need to go to court, and we can help you negotiate with the other party to come to an agreement that will aid you in getting your new life started. We can also take the case to court with you if litigation is necessary.
Issues We Can Help You Settle in a Divorce
- Child custody
- Child support
- Division of property
- Spousal support
- Parenting plan
Children can be the most challenging part of a divorce for the parents. It’s a dangerous time for your kids; you’re hurting so much that it’s hard to focus on them. The custody matter can be especially complicated for a same-sex couple who may have adopted their child, used surrogacy, or used other means to conceive. Our law firm is passionate about protecting children through divorce, and we have helped many parents reach an agreement that keeps their children as safe and happy as possible.
Family law can be very messy, and our lawyers want to get you through your divorce as quickly and cleanly as possible. With our experience and the legal services that we provide, we aim to do just that. We understand the struggles you face and aspire to get you to a better place. Please contact us at Seabrook Law Offices in San Jose, CA, at (408) 547-9251, or complete our online form to talk with our divorce attorneys today.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.