New Jersey LGBTQ+ (Same-Sex) Divorce Lawyer
Offering Qualified Guidance for Same-Sex Partners
Civil marriage for same-sex couples was officially recognized by New Jersey courts in September 2013, two years before same-sex marriage was recognized nationally by the U.S. Supreme Court. Gay and lesbian couples now enjoy equal marital rights under both state and federal law, with all attendant legal benefits and responsibilities. With the legalization of same-sex marriage came the legalization of same-sex divorce. Like all marriages, same-sex marriages may not be perfect and, at some point, divorce may be the best option. Statistical analyses have been inconclusive thus far on whether same-sex couples divorce more or less frequently than different-sex couples, but regardless, divorce is an option where appropriate.
The compassionate and dedicated LGBTQ+ family law attorneys at Herbert & Weiss, LLP are prepared to handle any type of divorce. Our NJ divorce lawyers are experienced in resolving same-sex and different-sex disputes, with the aim of streamlining the process in order to minimize the cost and impact of a divorce on your life. We will advise you through this trying time, help you negotiate for an amicable resolution where possible, and fight for your rights and assets in court where necessary.
Same-Sex Divorce in New Jersey
Same-sex marriages in New Jersey are treated exactly the same as different-sex marriages. This means that same-sex couples can seek divorce for the same reasons and must follow the same procedures for divorce. New Jersey began recognizing “irreconcilable differences” as grounds for divorce in 2007, which essentially amounts to “no-fault” divorce. Married couples no longer need to demonstrate infidelity, extreme cruelty, desertion, or some other cause for divorce, and instead may simply seek divorce.
Same-sex divorces deal with the same issues as different-sex divorces: dividing marital property, determining alimony and child support, establishing custody arrangements for any shared children, etc. It is vital to have an experienced divorce lawyer on your side during these negotiations and proceedings in order to ensure the best outcome for yourself and your family.
Same-sex marriages may have more complications regarding child custody and visitation given that there will often be a non-biological parent involved. Our dedicated child custody lawyers will work to protect your parental rights in a same-sex divorce whether you are the biological parent or otherwise.
Civil Unions & Domestic Partnerships in New Jersey
Before civil marriage was legal between members of the same sex, committed LGBTQ+ couples enjoyed some related rights in New Jersey. New Jersey established a scheme recognizing domestic partnerships in 2004 with limited rights and, in 2007, began allowing civil unions. Couples in a civil union were given the legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities of civilly married couples in New Jersey. Out-of-state same-sex marriages were recognized as civil unions within New Jersey. Some inequalities, of course, remained: Establishing the length of a civil union for purposes of dissolution, for example, could be tricky, given that they were not legally recognized until 2007.
Dissolving an existing civil union or domestic partnership involves the same processes and procedures as ending a civil marriage: One or both parties must file a complaint for dissolution along with a case information statement, participate in case management conferences, engage in formal discovery, proceed with mediation and negotiation, ultimately seek a settlement, etc. Dissolving a civil union involves the same issues regarding finances, alimony, taxes, child custody, etc., that arise in executing a divorce. Domestic partnerships involve fewer legal rights and so there may be fewer issues, but domestic partners must still follow the same procedures.
Our New Jersey LGBTQ+ divorce attorneys can help you seek dissolution of your New Jersey domestic partnership or civil union and will protect your rights and interests throughout the process. Ending any legal union can be a difficult and complicated process, and attorneys are here to help.
“In times where all hope was lost and fear was all-encompassing, you have unconditionally paved the way with an angelic light, open heart and indomitable courage!! You are eternally in my heart and revered by me in so many ways!!”- L.Z.
“It is very comforting to know that my interests are in the hands of competent and intelligent women.”- L.G.
“I am so grateful for all of your great advice and expertise!”- E.V.