Same-Sex Divorce Options in NY
New York State treats same-sex couple divorces the same as a traditional divorce. When a same-sex couple determines this is the best path forward, they must file divorce papers and create terms of separation. In the same manner as heterosexual couples, this can be accomplished via contested, mediated, or uncontested means.
Divorces can be pursued for any reason with the only requirement being that one of the two spouses has lived in New York for at least one year. If you and your partner feel like a divorce is the right option for your relationship, keep reading to learn more about your options and hire a same-sex divorce lawyer in New York.
What issues must be resolved in the separation agreement?
To separate, the separation agreement must resolve the following issues:
- Asset distribution
- Child custody
- Child support
- Debt sharing
- Spousal support
- Visitation arrangements
If an agreement cannot be met, the next step is court litigation. Once both sides have pleaded their case, a judge will decide one or all the above issues based on New York State law. For instance, asset and debt distribution decisions are based on the state’s equitable distribution statutes. On the other hand, child custody, support, and visitation are determined based on the child’s best interests.
This aspect of the divorce can become incredibly complicated, so it’s always advisable to hire a Manhattan divorce lawyer to facilitate this process.
What are the options for divorce for same-sex couples?
Same-sex couples have the same options in New York State as heterosexual couples. If most or all the above issues are going to be a challenge, then hiring a divorce attorney Manhattan is your best route. It’s important to determine how complicated this process may be before hiring a lawyer and determining if it needs to go to court.
If you and your partner can agree on most of the above list before filing the paperwork, a divorce attorney in Manhattan may not be required. Talking through the considerations of divorce before filing the paperwork is a critical aspect of this process. Depending on the relationship you and your spouse have now, finding common ground could also be one of the most challenging parts of the divorce process.
What to consider when divorcing
The following lists exactly what you need to consider when divorcing:
One of the first considerations is to understand if the divorce can be finalized without going to court. If you and your spouse can agree on the above list, the process can probably be managed without needing to go to court.
If you cannot agree on all issues, but are close, a mediator often can help you cross the finish line. If you can’t agree on any issue, then it’s time to hire a Manhattan divorce lawyer.
Hiring an attorney
No state requires an attorney to finalize your divorce, but it makes sense in many cases for the two spouses to consult with separate lawyers before starting the process. While hiring an attorney will increase your divorce cost, it will protect your rights and save a monumental amount of stress.
If you decide to go the route of hiring an attorney, you can’t use your spouse’s lawyer. Family law attorneys are only permitted to represent one spouse in a divorce case since it’s a conflict of interest. Plenty of excellent same-sex attorneys are ready to take your case, such as the Levitsky Law Firm.
Preparing for a new parenting agreement
If you have children, preparing for a new parenting agreement is a lot to consider. The best way to do this is to create a plan and calendar and learn more about the child support process and requirements. Divorce attorneys can also assist with understanding the child support requirements.
Gathering marriage documents
Part of the required documentation you must provide is marriage documents. These include any prenuptial agreements, estate planning documents, your marriage license, and life insurance policies.
Compiling crucial financial documents
Additional paperwork includes a list of all joint assets, joint debt documentation, retirement plans, pay information, tax returns, and security deposit boxes.
Collecting other critical documents
Other documents include deeds, vehicle titles, credit reports, and log-in credentials for joint accounts.
Taking separation steps
Additionally, you will need to take steps to separate your life. The most important steps include protecting your credit, lining up a new bank account if you and your spouse have a joint account, protecting all personal information such as changing passwords and creating a PO box. Other critical changes include finding health insurance, itemizing your belongings, and updating all insurance documents.
Divorces are always a difficult logistical and emotional process, but some of that stress can be eased by hiring a same sex divorce lawyer in New York, such as the Levitsky Law Firm. Their professionals can ensure a smooth and streamlined divorce process and settlement.