In Washington State, the legal issues surrounding same-sex couples are being watched carefully as the laws across the United States change. In the state, same-sex couples are subject to the same laws as couples of the opposite sex. When there is a decision to part ways, the same legal issues that confront male-female couples often confront male-male and female-female couples. These can have to do with property, custody of children and the other factors that await resolution when a split happens.
When it comes to property, anything that was acquired while the couple was together is generally viewed as part of the union and subject to division after the separation agreement is complete. In the event that the property was acquired prior to the couple's union, it will usually belong to the individual who purchased it. It is not guaranteed that property will be split evenly and it depends on the circumstances.
Even same-sex spouses might have to pay support to the other spouse. Like with an opposite sex marriage, one spouse might have been the breadwinner while the other stayed at home. In Washington, the income of both parties will be examined to determine whether or not it is applicable for one spouse to support the other. When it comes to children and visitation, this is a complex issue that also mirrors marriages of the opposite sex. The visitation and custody issues will depend on the individual cases and what precipitated the divorce. The child's well-being is paramount in every situation.
While it is a relatively new issue that same-sex couples are allowed to marry, it is also a new issue that these couples will choose to divorce. Since the legal issues surrounding a domestic partnership agreement and a same-sex marriage can be complicated, before moving forward it's important to have all the necessary information. For that, it is important to discuss the matter with a legal professional experienced in same-sex couples as soon as possible. The Hodgson Law Office is committed to serving the legal needs of same-sex couples and is experienced in many facets of the area.