In 2011, New York State began recognizing same-sex marriages, thanks to the passing of the Marriage Equality Act. While this law granted same-sex couples many of the same rights given to heterosexual couples, the reality is that when it comes to same-sex couples divorcing, there are still many differences that can have a major impact on divorce proceedings. While same-sex couples will still grapple with many traditional divorce issues such as division of property, child custody, and spousal support, there are many subtle differences in a number of these situations. Because of this, it’s very important for same-sex spouses who are divorcing to hire the services of Bronx lawyers who are experienced in handling same-sex divorce cases.
According to statistics related to same-sex marriages, 25 percent of same-sex couples have children in their household. In these situations, child custody is handled much the same way as in traditional marriages. If the child was adopted by the couple or was conceived through in-vitro fertilization, courts will recognize both spouses as legal parents of the child. However, if a spouse brings a child from a previous relationship into their same-sex union, the issue of child custody can become quite complicated. For example, if the same-sex couple decides to divorce, it’s possible the parent from the past relationship may attempt to seek custody, which can lead to numerous complications. Due to this possibility, it’s best to work with Bronx same-sex divorce lawyers who have handled cases like this in the past. More details about this aspect of child custody in same-sex divorces can be found at www.divorcelawfirmnewyork.com/Divorce/Same-Sex-Divorce.aspx.
When a couple divorces and children are involved, the issue of child support is always one that is difficult to negotiate. In most situations, the court will examine the standard of living the couple and the child had prior to the divorce, and attempt to arrive at an amount that will allow the child to maintain a similar standard of living they had before. In most cases, the court will look at the needs of the child to help determine how much child support should be paid by the non-custodial parent. Factors that come into play here include any medical issues the child has that require treatment, educational expenses, clothing and food, child care costs, and extracurricular activities such as music lessons or other endeavors. However, it’s important to note that even when an amount of child support is set, it can be modified by the court if either parent requests a hearing to do so. Factors that can trigger this include one parent getting a new job or losing a job, having a significant increase or decrease in income, or other related factors. For more information on this, visit www.sharovalaw.com/blog/miscellaneous/388-same-sex-divorce-in-new-york-state.
Division of Property
Since both spouses will want to ensure a fair and equitable division of property takes place during the divorce, it’s crucial to work with an attorney who has experience and knowledge of these matters. This is important because while New York laws do govern same-sex marriages and divorces, there are key differences in certain aspects of property division among same-sex couples and heterosexual couples. For example, when dividing retirement accounts or pensions, heterosexual couples can do so without incurring taxes or early withdrawal fees, but same-sex couples cannot. Along with this, when property is exchanged, heterosexual couples do not incur capital gains taxes, while same-sex couples do. Therefore, working with an experienced same-sex divorce lawyer who understands the financial differences in these situations can often make all the difference in getting a fair settlement when it comes to property.
Along with child support, same-sex couples also receive spousal support when they divorce. But like other financial aspects, problems can ensue. For example, federal law dictates that alimony is not tax deductible, and thus can become a major financial hardship for the spouse who is ordered to make monthly payments. Because of this, working with an attorney who has experience negotiating spousal support agreements will be important to your divorce proceedings, since it could mean the difference between continued financial prosperity or financial hardship.
Consult an Attorney
Because there are so many variations among divorce proceedings between heterosexual couples and same-sex couples, hiring Bronx same-sex divorce lawyers who have years of experience handling these cases can help answer any questions you may have about finances, child custody, and other aspects of the divorce. By doing so, you’ll position yourself to gain the best settlement for your situation.
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