In 2015 same-sex marriages became legal throughout the United States. As a Certified Divorce Realtor, my job is to assist in the sale of property,. It is important for me to know and understand divorce.
The legalization of same-sex marriage in the United States was recognized nationwide. This granted same-sex couples equal rights to heterosexual couples under the law.” This Day in History”. Forcing man states to create their own laws; fortunately many states already had Civil Unions or Domestic Partnerships in place. Such alternatives complicated the legalities involved in same-sex divorces. Same-sex verses heterosexual divorce can be more complex.
- Uphill to change: Progressive states were the first to legalize same-sex marriage.These being the only states that allowed same sex couples to marry; many couples traveled to those states to legalize their nuptials. After the wedding they returned to their home state to carry on with their lives. Now, a new chapter; they divorce. National Center for Lesbian Rights, “Several states still require nonresident same-sex couples who were married or joined by civil union in their state to meet multiple requirements before a divorce can be granted.”
- Married, and Civil Union: Before same sex marriage was legalized many same-sex couples entered into Civil Unions, many transferred that into a Domestic Partnership thus followed by the officially marriage once permitted by law. This left a trail of multiple legal relationship statuses. State Courts are still struggling. Trying to determine which relationship status takes precedence for the purposes of dividing property in a divorce settlement. Where to begin? The start of the couple’s first legal union? When their marriage became legal?
- Married, Civil Union, and Domestic Partnership: Dissolving a marital bond does not automatically relinquish a Civil Union or Domestic Partnership. Failure to terminate all bonds could prevent you from remarrying down the road. Making future marriages null and void. Your position in a division of property, or child custody can be at jeopardy.
- Establish early who holds title to the house.
- Never assume proceeds distribution will be a non-issue.
- Seek out an attorney who specializes in same-sex dissolution