Same Sex Divorce Lawyer Serving Washington, D.C. and Maryland
Attorney guides LGBT clients through the marriage dissolution process
Though same sex couples are subject to the same divorce laws as other couples looking to end their marriage, the longstanding discrimination faced by the LGBT community continues to affect many family law cases. At The Law Office of Michael A. Troy PLLC, we safeguard the rights and interests of Washington, D.C. and Maryland residents if they are divorcing their same sex partner or are engaged in a disagreement over custody of children they share. We are well versed in the particular concerns that affect matters involving LGBT spouses and strive to achieve a result that gives our clients the ability to move forward successfully.
Unique challenges associated with same sex divorce
Both Washington, D.C. (2010) and Maryland (2012) legalized same sex marriage before the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell decision established marriage equality nationwide. However, many relationships date back before individuals of the same sex could legally marry, presenting unique challenges in property division and alimony disputes. In most cases, assets and debts accumulated from the time a couple is wed are divided between the parties when the marriage is dissolved. Only including assets acquired during the marriage could lead to an unfair result if a couple shared a home and financial responsibilities before they were allowed to marry. Likewise, the length of a couple’s marriage is a key factor in alimony determinations. If you took care of the household and relied on your partner’s income before becoming spouses, it should be considered by the judge when deciding the amount and duration of spousal support.
Custody issues that can affect LGBT families
When a couple chooses to start a family, it is usually a very happy time. Having children requires close attention to countless details and prospective parents usually are not thinking about what would happen in the event of a breakup. However, relationships do break down, and the legal and biological connections that each parent has to their children could become very important during proceedings to determine custody.
Maryland law holds that if two women are married and one gives birth to a child with genetic material from a man, both women are presumed to be legal parents of the infant. However, this presumption does not extend to situations where two men are married and one fathers a child through a surrogate. Likewise, a child born prior to the time a same sex couple is wed is only the legal son or daughter of their biological parent, unless their spouse legally adopts them. There are also circumstances where neither spouse has a biological tie to a child that depend on if one or both are legal adoptive parents.
There are numerous families where one spouse is a de facto parent, handling all of the responsibilities associated with raising a child despite the fact that they do not have legal parental rights. In these cases, it might be necessary to present factual and expert evidence demonstrating the de facto parent’s bond with the youth in order to secure custody or visitation. If you’re concerned about losing access to the child you care so much about, you need to speak with a divorce attorney who is well versed in the custody issues frequently associated with same sex divorces.
Contact a Maryland and Washington, D.C. attorney for advice on a same sex divorce
The Law Office of Michael A. Troy PLLC in Greenbelt provides legal representation for residents of Maryland and Washington, D.C. who are going through a same sex divorce. For a free initial consultation, please call 202-864-2296 or contact us online.