For many years, same-sex partners fought for their rights to have their relationships recognized by the state of Washington and across the United States. Now that the state is transitioning any existing domestic partnerships to marriage in the coming months, issues of same-sex divorce may be more of an issue for some. These unions will face the same legal issues when ending a marriage that other couples do and it can be very important to have an understanding of the sometimes complex elements of such situations.
Since the state offers the same rights to same-sex couples as it does to all other couples, the same factors will come into play when there is dissolution of the marriage. Issues such as how property will be allocated, spousal support, custody issues and visitation rights can sometimes all be involved. Understanding how these issues will be handled legally will give a foundation to those who are unsure of the process.
Some same-sex partners might not be aware that they might need to pay support to the other spouse after the union ends. This can happen if one spouse makes substantially more money or if one spouse was stay-at-home.
Children can make divorce and separation complicated as well. The support of the child and who will receive custody will hinge on the individual situations. There are also several factors that can influence custody and visitation.
Unfortunate as it may be, relationships and marriages do not always stand strong. Some do end in the separation of the spouses involved, introducing the complexities of divorce into the lives of the unit. Discussing the matter with a legal professional experienced in same-sex couples and how the partnership can be dissolved can be key to a hopefully satisfactory resolution.