Divvying up assets in a same-sex divorce is proving to be a difficult task in some cases. In a heterosexual divorce, there is almost always a definitive date of which the parties began to share assets. Therefore, a judge can use that date by which to determine ownership of different assets.
In same-sex marriages, the parties have often been together for many years prior to their marriage due to laws that did not allow them to become legally married at the time. The problem lies in the fact that, during a same-sex divorce, there is often no form of proof of the date on which a relationship began. This leaves the decision solely with a judge as to whether assets should be divided equitable beginning with the marriage date, or whether he or she finds significant evidence showing a likely amount of time the couple were together prior to marriage.
One aspect, in particular, relating to the length of a relationship during a divorce is the award of alimony. The longer a relationship can be proven, the more likely a judge would be to award the payment of spousal support to one party. Another aspect which can prove problematic in same-sex divorce is child custody. It is possible that a non-legal parent could walk away with no right to a child that he or she had helped raise for many years.
For these reasons, as well as others, a collaborative divorce is highly recommended in a same-sex divorce. In this way, both parties will have the opportunity to present an already agreed upon plan to a judge for approval, without risking a devastating decision by the court. Contact a knowledgeable divorce attorney for assistance in putting a plan into motion and securing a better future for all parties involved.