Same sex marriage is illegal in North Carolina; hence issues related to same sex divorce are complicated and not as simple to resolve as a heterogeneous divorce.
Need for Legal Assistance in Same Sex Divorce
Two adults make a decision live together because of love, irrespective of whether there are from different sexes or belong to the same sex. However, because the law recognizes the marriage between persons of opposite sex, there are provisions in the law relating to how to deal with issues such as property division, child custody and visitation spousal support etc, when the marriage comes to an end.
Same sex couples too go through same or identical issues (incompatibility, lack of communication, cheating etc.) and the chances of the relationship coming to an end exist. But since same sex marriages do not enjoy legal status, naturally, there is no legal recourse for same sex divorce.
It is recommended that gay or homosexual partners enter into a domestic partnership agreement that is a legal contractual document, which covers how various issues will be addressed in the event of the same sex divorce.
Issues to be considered in Same Sex Divorce
The domestic partnership document should address how property acquired in the course of the partnership should be divided in the event of the divorce. An important area in same sex divorce is the custody of children, if any, who are being jointly raised by the couple. Often same sex couples adopt the traditional surrogacy route to expand their families, where one partner (being the sperm or egg donor) is biologically related to the child and hence is recognized as the legal parent. The other partner, though an active participant in the child’s life and upbringing has no biological (and hence legal) connection with the child.
In the event of same sex divorce, in the eyes of law, this partner is stranger as far as the child is concerned and the court may not see a reason to grant custody or even visitation rights. It is critical that the domestic partnership agreement address this issue so that rights with respect to the child are upheld.
We at McIlveen Family Law Firm have helped many couples through the break-up process reach their eventual conclusion by making sure that the rights of our clients are always protected. We can help you with drafting a domestic partnership contract or with understanding your rights and options if you are in the process of splitting with your partner. Contact us to know more.