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Posted by on Feb 10, 2019 in Family | 0 comments

Same-Sex Divorce Issues

In the summer of 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided on a ruling that made same-sex marriage legal across the country. This was certainly a great step forward in terms of equal opportunity for the LGBT community. With the right to get married also came the right to get divorced. Kinky Friedman, a former writer for Texas Monthly, once said “I support gay marriage. I believe they have a right to be as miserable as the rest of us.” But I wonder if same-sex couples have it worse in divorce court. I was reading about same-sex divorce on a law firm website last night. The attorneys there have helped many same-sex couples through divorce proceedings.

The reality for many same-sex couples is that they were together for as many as twenty to thirty years before they first got married. In this time, assets and financial decisions were made as if they were married, but courts would not recognize this as a decision between two married people. When two people get a divorce, the courts take into account how long the marriage lasted to determine if alimony or spousal support should be given to a low-earning or no-earning partner. For some, marriage lasted only two years but they had been together for much longer than this. Courts are unsure how to rule fairly in situations like these. The rules for this are often determined at a state level. Some states are willing to view time spent living together as time within a marriage, but this is not guaranteed. It can definitely go either way, and the outcome is high stakes when one partner was bringing in far more than the other.

A similar issue arises in cases of child guardianship. Before same-sex marriage was legal, many same-sex couples would adopt a child and put guardianship to one person. Now, when getting a divorce, the sole guardian will normally have all the rights to the child. The other partner will have no right to see the child even though they may have raised the child just as much as the other partner. Again, the situation is governed on a state-by-state basis and it is ultimately the case law of each particular state that goes on to decide these matters.

Another issue some same-sex couples are facing is an extra union to dissolve. Before same-sex marriage was legal, many couples entered domestic partnerships with one another. This union is not as legally binding as a marriage, but it makes it easier to collect assets after a partner passes away. It also helps for insurance purposes. When same-sex marriage was legalized, some states dissolved all domestic partnerships. Other states chose to keep them intact. Now, some couples are finding themselves dealing with two different state unions to litigate. This is a complex legal situation. If I found myself filing for divorce in a same-sex marriage, I would definitely reach out and hire a lawyer. I want to make sure that the court system does its job in separating assets in a fair and reasonable way. I would hate for case law and bureaucracy to get in the way of justice

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Posted by on Sep 10, 2017 in Family | 0 comments

If a minor can legally get married, why is it so difficult for them to get a divorce?

In the past two years, over twelve states have considered the question of allowing individuals of a certain age to get married in the United States. While some states agreed that under certain circumstances, minors could be married, many failed to ask, “what if a minor wants to get a divorce?”

TeenVogue explores this topic in their series called “Wedlocked” that looks into the history and practice of child marriage. The divorce lawyer and expert featured in the show, Nancy Berg, says the answer is no. A minor cannot file for divorce because they are not considered old enough, even though they were old enough to get married. This is because marriage is a contract, and only adults can enter and break contracts. If they need a change in their marriage contract, the child will need to seek a guardian or parent to help them with this process.

How serious it this? Well, between 2000 and 2015, almost 208,000 child marriages were sanctioned in 44 states. Berg noticed how minors are affected by forced marriages. She is currently working with the Third Justice Center to help advance legislation to end or slow down child marriage. She claims the law doesn’t allow minors to have a clear direction who marry and this makes divorce very complicated. “The law mimics the culture, so it doesn’t necessarily follow the same effect, meaning the statutes on in place will not always change the way society changes.”

The laws are outdated in particular disciplines and fields. The complicated part rests in the difference between the age girls can marry versus when they reach a legal age to be an adult. She wants to make these ages standard and legal everywhere. One reason that this is a concern is domestic violence is linked to child marriage. When a minor marries young, and there is abuse, hurdling the marriage and exiting may have created a chance to continue the abuse, but this means nothing to the courts. States are “no-fault divorce” states which say they do not see domestic violence as part of the problem with divorce. Trevicia Williams, a former child bride, tells Teen Vogue when she got married at 14, she wanted to get an annulment within the first 30 days of marriage. However, a minor cannot secure a divorce unless there is a guardian ad litem present to act on behalf of the juvenile and makes decisions in their best interests.

Divorce can be a complicated process for anyone, whether they are a minor who decided to get married or an adult who decides that they can no longer keep the contract they made with their spouse. Divorce proceedings can be highly charged with emotion and it is sometimes difficult for divorcing couples to reach an agreement on how their property will be divided, custody of children will be handled, and how the finances will be separated. An experienced divorce attorney in your area can help you decide the best course of action and can help you understand your rights. I researched divorce attorneys in Utah, and in North Texas (where I recently moved), and I found some great legal websites that discussed the ins-and-outs of divorce. I especially liked the website of this North Texas divorce lawyer, Karen Alexander. I recommend reading the information sites like hers and others if you are considering divorce.

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Posted by on Jan 8, 2015 in Family | 0 comments

Divorce: It’s One Hell of a Ride

The one thing universal about every divorce case is that it’s difficult in just about every way and for everyone involved. The affair can be quite messy and complicated, as well as emotionally fueled as well as it is draining.

Each case is different and though the end result is the same, it’s a different story every time someone goes down that road. It is not just the unhappy relationship that needs to be realized within the divorce. According to website of Marshall & Taylor PLLC, there are several other issues that need to be addressed when filing for such a case. There are things such as property division and, if applicable, child custody. There are also some instances wherein the two parties do not meet eye to eye with the agreements discussed and choose to contest a divorce. Perhaps there are even some criminal issues that need to be addressed, with regard to the divorce, such as domestic abuse.

There are also different kinds of divorce that a couple can file for and these types are known as Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Mediated Divorce, and Collaborative Divorce. It is advisable that you seek legal help to help you see which case is more appropriate for your situation.

Some matters may make things more complicated and this process is already quite difficult in the first place. As it can be quite emotionally taxing for anyone involved, it is advisable that you have legal representation that can be with you every single step of the way. There are numerous factors that could tip the scales in anyone’s favor and divorces can be one hell of a rollercoaster that everyone just wants to get out of as soon as possible. The right kind of legal aid can help soothe the loops and make this ride as smooth and painless as possible.

If you or someone you know is having to go through divorce issues, contact legal assistance immediately!

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