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Bay Area Family Attorneys > San Francisco LGBTQ Divorce Attorney

San Francisco LGBTQ Divorce Attorney

Even though marriage equality is now the law of the land here in California, there are still unique challenges that many LGBTQ couples face when it comes to getting a divorce. Since 2015, same-sex marriage has been legal in California and throughout the United States. Even still, many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals may still need to deal with specific legal issues arising from the end of their relationships.

Our experienced San Francisco LGBTQ divorce attorney is here to help. Cardwell Steigerwald Young LLP is a dedicated team of California family law attorneys who represent individuals throughout the Bay Area who are looking to end their marriage in a legal and responsible fashion. In addition to divorce, we can also advise you on legal separation or dissolving a registered domestic partnership.

What Issues May LGBTQ Couples Face in Obtaining a California Divorce?

On paper, there is no longer any legal distinction between opposite-sex and same-sex married couples. All marriages have equal standing in California. This extends to divorce. A same-sex spouse can file for a divorce under the same process as an opposite-sex spouse.

That said, because many LGTBQ relationships were not afforded legal recognition until recently, there are certain issues that these couples can face in a California divorce proceeding. Some examples include:

  • Determining When the Marriage Began: How long a couple was married often plays a critical role in resolving certain divorce issues, such as division of community property and spousal support. Many LGBTQ couples were in a loving, committed relationship long before they could legally marry, which can complicate determining the exact date when the marriage began.
  • Child Custody: Under California law, only a natural or adoptive parent has the right to custody and visitation. An LGBTQ spouse who never legally adopted their partner’s child may therefore have difficulty asserting any rights with respect to the child even if they acted as a co-parent during the marriage.
  • High Net Worth Divorces: On the other hand, many LGBTQ couples do not have children and often enjoy a higher net worth as a result of both spouses earning income on a full-time basis. This can present its own challenges when it comes to division of community property and a spouse’s demand for alimony to maintain their standard of living.
  • Legal Separation: California allows a married couple to legally separate without divorcing. This option may be more practical for LGBTQ couples who do not wish to divorce right away for financial reasons, such as keeping their spouse on their health insurance or other benefit plan.

Let Our San Francisco LGBTQ Divorce Attorney Help

Ending any marriage is never an easy decision. If you are in a LGBTQ relationship, you may feel the additional burden of dealing with some or all of the issues described above. So if you need to speak with a skilled and compassionate San Francisco LGBTQ divorce attorney, call Cardwell Steigerwald Young LLP today at 415-259-5885 to schedule a consultation.

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