Same-Sex Divorce And Family Law Representation

Family law issues are complex. The emotional toll that may arise when a marriage breaks down, the strife of facing the division of finances form one into two, and potentially going to court without knowing how it will all pan out is often daunting. When same-sex couples decide to divorce, the ambiguities and nuances of the law are real.

While the courts recognize same-sex marriages, the traditional development of the law may not always provide the same kind of guidance for individuals and judges in how to apply long-standing principles to same-sex relationships. Many issues that arise in family law are analyzed with concepts such as the length of a marriage as a factor the judge should weigh in determining what is equitable.

Many same-sex couples were barred from legally formalizing the relationship with state sanctioned marriage licenses. New Jersey historically did not recognize civil unions before the Civil Union Act took effect in February 2007. New Jersey does not recognize common law marriages. As a result, proof of the length of marriage is limited by the formal recognition of same-sex marriage for many people.

A Legal Team With The Skill To Help Clients Protect Their Rights In Same-Sex Family Law Proceedings

In any family law situation, it is important to have a lawyer on your side who understands how family law courts rule and can anticipate how courts will interpret the new rules pertaining to same-sex relationships. Moreover, your lawyer must have the skill to develop a creative and sound strategy to serve your best interests when the issues may not align with the steps and principles that were developed without recognition of same-sex marriages.

The attorneys at Cipriano Law Offices, P.C., understand family law and remain at the cutting edge of legal trends. Moreover, as fierce litigators, our legal team has the ability to develop legal strategies that synthesize the past with the present. We have experience dealing with a wide variety of family law issues in Essex County and throughout the New Jersey courts, and we understand how to resolve disputes through negotiation and alternative dispute resolution methods, including mediation. While providing you with dedicated representation, we handle sensitive family law matters with the utmost care.

The Issues That Same-Sex Couples May Face

Though same-sex couples mostly face the same legal issues that opposite-sex couples face, these couples have long faced legal challenges that other couples do not face. While same-sex couples now can marry, the laws concerning matters such as adoption, separation and divorce continue to evolve. We provide guidance regarding cases involving:

  • The intent to move out of state where laws may conflict with those in New Jersey
  • Legal issues that may arise when moving to New Jersey from another state due to conflicting laws
  • The handling of same-sex adoption cases
  • Child custody issues concerning same-sex couples experiencing separation and divorce
  • Divorce and alimony issues concerning same-sex couples
  • Complex property division issues – particularly for couples in long-term relationships that began prior to the same-sex marriage
  • Preparation of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements for same-sex couples

A Legal Team Highly Skilled In Resolving Financial And High-Asset Disputes

In a same-sex divorce, property division may be highly complicated. While same-sex marriage is recognized throughout the country and provides some level of equal protection of the law, the laws governing property division continue to evolve for same-sex divorce disputes.

The New Jersey property division statute provides the court with many factors to weigh in determining what may be equitable in a particular situation. The traditional principles of family law indicate that the length of the marriage should be considered in dividing assets (and other financial areas – such as alimony or spousal maintenance).

Same-sex couples in long-term relationships were not allowed to marry or enter into a legally recognized civil union historically. Similarly, New Jersey does not recognize common law marriage. In long-term same-sex marriages that predate recognition of the right to marry, the “length of marriage” factor in a same-sex divorce disputes creates a conflict between the purpose of the traditional construct of the law and plain language of the law. Similarly, issues regarding premarital property become more complicated.

It is critical to work with strong family law litigators to protect your security in a property division dispute.

Child Custody And Parenting Issues

In the absence of a formal adoption, some parents in a same-sex relationship with no biological connection to the child may face challenges resolving legal and physical child custody disputes in a New Jersey divorce.

At Cipriano Law Offices, P.C.., we understand the legal obstacles you may face. As every circumstance is unique, we work to understand your situation and give you a forthright assessment of what you can expect from the legal process. Whatever the legal matter, we will be aggressive advocates for you.

Contact Our Law Office With Any Questions Or Concerns

While family law issues are potentially contentious under many circumstances, these issues may prove to be even more complicated for same-sex couples. At Cipriano Law Offices, P.C., our legal team can serve as advocates, mediators, advisers and economic evaluators regarding same-sex family law disputes. Email our office in West Caldwell or call us at 973-852-3346 to schedule an initial consultation.