Same Sex Divorce

same sex divorce lawyer

Same-sex divorce is a relatively new area of law, and finding a same sex divorce lawyer to handle these complicated matters is important. Same-sex marriage was legalized in 2015 on a national level by a U.S. Supreme Court decision. The decision overturned gay marriage bans in other states, including Ohio. Before this ruling, same-sex marriage had been legal in certain states for about a decade. Massachusetts was the first state to legally recognize same-sex marriage, back in 2004.

This national decision means it is now legal in Ohio, for the first time in history, for same-sex couples to marry. However, same-sex divorces are already being handled in Ohio and are currently being looked at on a case-by-case basis. These cases are expected to only become more and more common as many same-sex marriage relationships are now deteriorating.

When children are involved, the case becomes more complicated. Add another layer of complications when assets were combined after marriage. Because of the complexity and confusion surrounding current law, these cases are not typical “vanilla divorces” or ones that are looked at as being simple and quick separations. A same sex divorce lawyer is critical in these complex cases.

In a recent Ohio case, two partners wed in Canada (where same-sex marriage has been legal since 2005). Later the relationship fell apart and the couple split. One of the partners sought a divorce, but wasn’t sure where to begin. This divorce was handled in Ohio by publication, where an attorney facilitated the publication of a notice in the newspaper to announce the divorce. This notice, aptly called “notification by publication” has to be published for a month as a public attempt to notify the married partner, whose whereabouts were now unclear.

This same-sex divorce case was handled in Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court, and the court found the client had jurisdiction, since she had been wed in a country where same-sex marriage is recognized legally.

While an imminent divorce cannot be predicted and is not planned by most couples, it may be wise to implement a prenuptial agreement to help simplify a separation, should it occur, and in particular if children or substantial assets are involved. A prenuptial agreement is helpful not only in same-sex marriage cases but also in opposite-sex marriages.