St. Petersburg Same Sex Divorce Lawyer
Although the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brenner v. Scott, which made same sex marriage throughout the country, there are still many legal issues remaining for same sex couples who want to divorce. For example, a spouse that is not the biological parent of a child may wonder if they will have any visitation rights. Or, if the two parties were in a domestic partnership or civil union before the Brenner case, it is sometimes difficult to determine the length of the marriage for alimony purposes.
It is true that divorces involving same sex couples do have the potential to become much more complex than those involving heterosexual couples. If you wish to dissolve your marriage, our St. Petersburg same sex divorce lawyer can help you overcome the challenges these cases present.
Rights of Non-Biological Parents in Same Sex Divorces
When a couple has minor children together, time-sharing and child support issues are some of the most important to resolve during the divorce process. Ultimately, the courts presume it is in the best interests of the child to maintain a relationship with each parent. In same sex divorce cases though, this is even more challenging.
Individuals who are not biological parents of the children involved in a divorce often worry that they will not have any legal visitation rights. Only individuals who have a legal parental relationship with the child have any rights to parenting time and child support. As such, if one party in the same sex couple is not the biological parent, and has not legally adopted the child, they will not have any parental rights during the divorce process.
Still, it is generally presumed that it is in the best interests of the child for them to maintain a relationship with each parent. It is recommended that same sex parents reach a shared custody agreement that meets each party’s needs.
Alimony Issues in Same Sex Divorces
Same sex couples have the same rights to alimony as heterosexual couples. Determining the duration of alimony in same sex divorces cases though, is much more complex.
The duration of alimony is often determined according to the length of the marriage. Alimony is not often awarded after a short marriage, or one that is less than seven years in length. Permanent alimony, on the other hand, is only awarded in divorce cases that involve long marriages, or those that lasted over 17 years.
It is often difficult to determine the duration of alimony for same sex couples because it is not always easy to determine when the union began. Before the Brenner decision, not all same sex couples could legally get married and so, unions could have begun before they were officially recognized. There is no guarantee that a family court judge will consider the length of the relationship, and not the length of the official marriage, so it is important to work with an attorney who can help you navigate this situation.
Our Same Sex Divorce Lawyer in St. Petersburg Can Help with These Complex Issues
There are many challenges same sex couples face when getting a divorce. At Greene & Greene, our St. Petersburg same sex divorce lawyer can help you overcome them and obtain the best settlement you deserve. Call us now at (727) 821-2900 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.