South Jersey Same-Sex Divorce Lawyers
Experienced Divorce Lawyers Fight to Protect Same-Sex Couples’ Rights throughout New Jersey including Cherry Hill, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel
Same-sex marriage is now legal throughout the entire country, theoretically giving same-sex couples the same rights and privileges as opposite-sex couples. Although relationship issues are rarely simple, same-sex couples continue to face unique challenges in many aspects of their family lives, including marriage and divorce. Many of these challenging issues stem from the fact that the law has only recently evolved to universally recognize same-sex marriage—despite the fact that countless same-sex couples have been in committed relationships in South Jersey for decades.
LGBT couples who are legally married, contemplating legal marriage, or contemplating divorce or dissolution of a civil union or domestic partnership, need the expertise of a family law attorney who understands the challenges and inequalities that same-sex couples continue to face today. At Cordry Hartman, LLC, our dedicated team of family law attorneys are here to provide you with individualized advice and guidance if you are in a same-sex marriage and are contemplating divorce. Our attorneys are vigorous in our efforts to protect the rights of all of our clients but recognize the need to fight even harder to ensure that our same-sex clients receive equal treatment under New Jersey’s rules governing spousal support, division of assets and parental rights.
Unique Issues in Same-Sex Divorce Cases in South Jersey
Spousal support, or alimony, following a marriage is generally awarded to the lower-earning spouse in order to help that spouse maintain the standard of living that he or she enjoyed during the marriage. The level of alimony that will be awarded depends upon the earning capacity of both spouses, as well as the duration of the marriage. The following types of alimony are among those available under New Jersey law:
- Temporary support: This is not technically alimony, but spousal support awarded to a lower-earning spouse to protect that spouse financially while the divorce proceedings are underway.
- Limited duration alimony: Under New Jersey law, alimony payments generally cannot last longer than the duration of the marriage. There will be a set period of time for how long alimony must be paid.
- Permanent alimony: Permanent alimony no longer exists in New Jersey. Even couples who were legally married for more than 20 years are entitled to petition the court for a reduction or termination in alimony payments upon reaching retirement or to reflect changed life circumstances or financial position.
The alimony rules are particularly important to same-sex couples because same-sex marriage only recently became legal. Couples who were in committed, “marriage-like” relationships for decades may only have been legally married for a few years. This creates an inequality in the system that has not technically been resolved through legislation. Despite this, a skilled attorney who is experienced in handling same-sex divorce cases can advocate for recognition of the years preceding legal marriage when the court is determining alimony payment requirements.
In addition to the rules governing alimony and spousal support, the rules that apply in determining parental rights have yet to fully evolve to provide equal rights for same-sex couples with children. Our attorneys understand how vital it is for same-sex couples to have their parental rights recognized, and vigorously advocate on behalf of our clients in cases involving:
Family Law Lawyers at Cordry, Hartman, LLC Tenaciously Work to Achieve Favorable Results in Same-Sex Divorce Cases in New Jersey
At Cordry Hartman, LLC, our attorneys do more than fight to help our clients reach an amicable divorce settlement if at all possible—we fight to make sure the divorce settlement is fair so that your legal rights and financial future are protected. When your financial future and your parental rights may be on the line, it is critical to have an experienced lawyer who you can trust in your corner. For same-sex couples entering into divorce proceedings, it is important to remember that the laws have not fully evolved to ensure equal protection. The attorneys at Cordry Hartman strongly advocate for fair interpretation of existing laws for our same-sex clients. Our team of family law attorneys are resolute and resourceful in our efforts to secure your rights to fair asset division, spousal support and child custody arrangements following a divorce. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation for your same-sex divorce case.
Contact the Moorestown Family Lawyers at Cordry Hartman, LLC for a Confidential Consultation Today
If you are in a same-sex marriage and have questions about the ramifications or potential issues that can arise by choosing to divorce, contact the family law lawyers at Cordry Hartman, LLC today. Our attorneys are skilled in negotiating full and fair divorce settlement agreements for all of our clients, and will personally guide you through the divorce procedures to make the entire process as seamless and amicable as possible. Contact us today for a free confidential consultation for your same-sex separation. Our office is conveniently located at 505 S Lenola Rd Suite 224, Moorestown, NJ 08057. We serve clients throughout New Jersey, including in Moorestown, Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Marlton, Voorhees, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Cumberland County, Cape May County, Salem County, and Atlantic County.
Civil unions between same-sex couples have been legal in New Jersey since 2007, and domestic partnerships have been recognized for even longer. Dissolving a civil union or domestic partnership generally requires the same legal formalities as a divorce under New Jersey law. For couples in civil unions, the spousal support, asset division, and child custody and support issues that will arise are very similar to those in a divorce proceeding. Domestic partners have more limited rights. Our experienced same-sex divorce lawyers can also advocate on your behalf in dissolving a civil union or domestic partnership.
This is one area of the law that remains uncertain. If you acted in a parental capacity to the child, but never formally adopted the child, it is possible that a judge could choose to allow visitation rights. It is also possible that an amicable arrangement could be reached with the child’s biological parent if your continued contact with the child is deemed to be in the child’s best interests. As in all cases, an experienced family law attorney can help you evaluate your options and advocate to protect your rights.