Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Bay Area Family Attorneys > San Francisco Same Sex Divorce Attorney

San Francisco Same Sex Divorce Attorney

In 2015, the United States Supreme Court held that states could no longer deny legal recognition of same sex marriages. Over the past decade, California–and the Bay Area in particular–have enjoyed the benefits of legal same sex marriage. But we have also now had to deal with the subject of same sex divorce.

In most respects, a couple seeking a divorce in California must follow the same laws regardless of the sex or gender of the spouses involved. That said, there are special legal challenges that some same sex couples face when ending their marriage. The San Francisco same sex divorce attorney at Cardwell Steigerwald Young LLP can help. We are a California family law firm that represents clients in a wide range of divorce matters ranging from property division to child custody and support.

How Is Divorce Different for Same Sex Couples in California?

California is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce. This means that so long as a couple meets the state’s residency and other jurisdictional requirements, either spouse may seek a divorce without alleging fault on the part of the other spouse. In most cases, the parties are also able to reach a marital settlement agreement that disposes of legal issues such as the division of the couple’s community property. Absent such an agreement, a Superior Court judge will hold a trial and determine such issues.

So how is the process any different for same sex couples? Some of the issues we have observed in our same sex divorce practice include:

  • Parental Rights: Many same sex couples have children, often through adoption or assisted reproduction. If one spouse is not the child’s biological or adoptive parent, however, that can create problems if the non-parent wishes to assert custody or visitation rights, or the parent demands child support. Ultimately, a California court must determine what is in the best interest of the child rather than the divorcing spouses.
  • Duration of the Marriage: Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision, many same sex couples cohabited without any formal legal recognition of their union. This can affect issues such as spousal support (alimony), where California law takes into account the length of the marriage in determining an appropriate award. In certain cases, a judge may find the existence of a “Marvin claim,” which affords unmarried partners certain rights to enforce property division or financial support agreements.
  • Privacy: Many same sex couples continue to face a higher degree of social scrutiny than opposite sex couples. When it comes to a divorce, same sex partners may therefore wish for a more private resolution of the legal issues surrounding the end of their marriage. In such cases, mediation rather than litigation can be a good option for all parties concerned.

Our San Francisco Same Sex Divorce Attorney Can Help

As with any divorce, it is best to seek out qualified legal advice from a skilled and compassionate advocate who will work on your behalf. If you need to speak with a San Francisco same sex divorce attorney, call Cardwell Steigerwald Young LLP today at 415-259-5885 to schedule a consultation.

Share This Page:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

© 2022 - 2024 Cardwell Steigerwald Young LLP. All rights reserved.
This law firm website and legal marketing are managed by MileMark Media.