San Jose Divorce Attorney Comments on Same Sex Divorce
As states begin to allow same sex couples to marry or register as domestic partners, they must simultaneously begin to address what happens when these couples split up. If a couple is divorcing or terminating a domestic partnership in the same state where they married, then the process is somewhat simpler. However, for couples who married in a different state from where they now live, there are often times no good choices.
One of the biggest challenges facing same sex couples who are splitting up is taxes. Because federal law does not recognize marriage between individuals of the same sex, spousal support or alimony payments are not deductible by the payor. Divison of retirement savings and pension plans are usually fairly straightforward in the context of a heterosexual divorce, but when a same sex couple splits up, these accounts must often be cashed out and heavily taxed.
The other significant problem faced by same sex couples is custody and visitation of minor children. Because both parents cannot be the biological parent, one parent often has no rights under the law. And while a child born during a heterosexual marriage is presumed to be the child of the marriage, in California, and elsewhere, that is not necessarily so in a same sex relationship. Fortunately, California has taken steps to ensure that provisions of the Uniform Parentage Act apply to same sex and opposite sex couples alike.
If you are seeking to terminate your registered domestic partnership in California, attorneys in our office suggest you seek the advice of counsel before proceeding. Our experienced family law attorneys can assist you with custody, visitation, support and property division as part of a dissolution of domestic partnership. We offer free consultations by phone and in person