(Last Updated On: October 17, 2023)
Last Updated on: 17th October 2023, 04:31 pm
Manhattan Same-Sex Divorce Lawyers: A Helpful Guide
Ending a same-sex marriage in Manhattan can be complicated. While the legal process is largely the same as for opposite-sex couples, there are some unique factors to consider. This article provides an overview of same-sex divorce in Manhattan – the laws, the process, and how an experienced lawyer can help.
The Same-Sex Divorce Process in Manhattan
The process of getting divorced is essentially identical for same-sex and opposite-sex couples in New York. The steps typically include:
- Filing a Summons with Notice or Summons and Verified Complaint to initiate the divorce.
- Negotiating issues like asset division, spousal support, child custody.
- Discovery process – financial disclosures, document exchanges.
- Reaching settlement agreements, either collaboratively or through mediation/litigation.
- Court approval and issuance of the final judgment of divorce.
So legally speaking, same-sex divorce in Manhattan follows the same protocols and procedures as any other divorce. But there are some unique factors to consider…
Key Issues in Same-Sex Divorce
While the process is the same, same-sex couples do face some distinct challenges when divorcing in Manhattan:
- Same-sex couples often have significant premarital assets. Since same-sex marriage was only recently legalized in NY, assets acquired before the marriage may be considered separate property. This can complicate negotiations.
- It’s important to trace the origins of assets to determine which are marital vs separate property. A prenuptial agreement can help avoid disputes.
Custody and parental rights
- For children conceived through assisted reproductive technology, it’s critical to establish legal parentage for non-biological parents.
- Second parent adoption is advised to protect parental rights.
- Custody battles can be complicated if both parents lack biological ties to the child.
- Due to federal non-recognition of same-sex marriage, same-sex couples don’t enjoy the same tax benefits as opposite-sex couples.
- Income tax, estate tax, and gift tax rules differ for same-sex spouses. It’s important to consult a knowledgeable tax advisor.
Why Hire a Manhattan Same-Sex Divorce Lawyer?
Navigating these issues and achieving a favorable settlement requires an experienced same-sex divorce attorney. Here’s how the right lawyer can help:
- Expertise with unique issues – A lawyer well-versed in same-sex divorce can spot important nuances and advise appropriately.
- Negotiation skills – An attorney can vigorously negotiate on your behalf for optimal asset division, support, custody.
- Court experience – If agreements can’t be reached out of court, a seasoned litigator can fight for your rights at trial.
- Emotional support – A compassionate lawyer provides empathy and guidance during an emotionally difficult time.
- Cost savings – Rather than making expensive mistakes, it’s prudent to invest in good legal advice upfront.
Choosing the Right Manhattan Same-Sex Divorce Lawyer
Look for these qualities when selecting legal counsel:
- Substantial experience with same-sex divorce and family law.
- Strong record of favorable case results.
- Membership in LGBTQ+ legal associations.
- Comfortable rapport – choose a lawyer you feel at ease with.
- Responsive communication and availability.
- Reasonable, transparent fees.
 Obergefell v. Hodges – Landmark 2015 Supreme Court case establishing same-sex marriage rights.
 New York Marriage Equality Act – 2011 NY legislation legalizing same-sex marriage.
 Second Parent Adoption – Family Equality Council resource on adoption rights.
 Same-Sex Divorce: What You Need to Know – Overview of same-sex divorce issues from Nolo legal encyclopedia.
 Same-Sex Marriage, Civil Unions, and Domestic Partnerships in New York – GLAD guide to LGBT relationship recognition laws in NY.
Find Your Perfect Same-Sex Divorce Attorney: The Ultimate Guide
Going through a divorce can be emotionally draining, incredibly frustrating, and confusing for anyone. However, for a same-sex couple, issues surrounding children, property, and societal pressures can make the process even more challenging. To help you navigate these complexities, it is crucial to find an experienced same-sex divorce attorney who understands your unique situation and knows how to best represent your interests. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the essential factors you should consider when searching for the right attorney for your same-sex divorce.
Choose an Experienced Specialist
Selecting an attorney with profound experience in handling divorce cases involving LGBTQ couples is of utmost importance. It is essential you find someone who is not only knowledgeable about the law but also sensitive to the nuances and complexities faced by same-sex couples. A good starting point to find such an attorney would be to look for firms or lawyers who specifically mention their expertise with LGBTQ issues on their websites or company biographies.
Don’t Hesitate to Ask Questions
It is absolutely essential to feel comfortable with your chosen attorney, and the only way to do that is by asking any questions you may have. It is a good idea to inquire about their fees, payment plans, scheduling, and appointment options over the phone or via email. The more information you have, the more comfortable and confident you will feel when dealing with your attorney.
Schedule an In-Person Consultation
An initial consultation is the perfect opportunity to gauge if an attorney is the right fit for you. During this meeting, you can discuss your personal circumstances, any concerns you may have, and offer them any essential documentation to help them better understand your case.
Discuss Separation Terms and Necessary Documentation
Depending on where you live, some states require legal separation for a specific period before the divorce can be finalized. It is crucial that you discuss this with your attorney to ensure all the proper documentation and paperwork are in order for the divorce to proceed smoothly.
Find an Attorney Who Will Put Your Needs First
Choosing the right same-sex divorce attorney is crucial in ensuring a smooth and successful divorce process. The right lawyer can turn a stressful situation into a positive experience, allowing you to move forward knowing your rights and obligations have been met.
Specific Issues in Same-Sex Divorce Cases
Although the same laws apply to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples, several unique factors should be considered in same-sex divorce cases. These include:
New York, like most states, utilizes the “equitable distribution” standard in dividing marital assets and debts. Under this standard, the court aims to distribute marital property fairly and equitably, although not necessarily equally.
Child Custody and Visitation
There are no distinctions between same-sex and opposite-sex couples in terms of child custody and visitation laws. The court’s primary concern is always the best interests of the child taking into account factors such as physical, mental, and emotional health of both parents, living situations or environments, and the historical role of each parent as the primary caretaker.
Going through a divorce is an emotionally charged and complicated process, but finding the right same-sex divorce attorney can make all the difference. By choosing an experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate attorney who understands the unique challenges faced by same-sex couples, you can feel confident and secure in navigating this difficult time. Remember, the right attorney can turn a stressful situation into a positive experience, allowing you to move forward and embrace the next chapter of your life.