Same Sex Divorce

Helping Kern County Families with Same-Sex Divorce

Gay & Lesbian Divorce in Bakersfield and Kern County

On June 26th,2013, California became the tenth state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage. With the development of gay marriage came another legal issue: same-sex divorce and separation.

Same-sex couples facing divorce will need to address common divorce issues, such as but not limited to:

  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Property division
  • Spousal support
  • Debt division
  • Property Rights, Financial Rights, and Custodial Rights

Same-sex couples face the same divorce issues as heterosexual couples, but the legalities surrounding these issues can be significantly more complex. Child custody, spousal maintenance, property division, and other divorce-related problems may become quite complex during the same-sex divorce process. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you choose an attorney with experience – like the ones you will find at Canaday Family Law.

How Can Canaday Family Law Help You?

Child Custody – About 40% of gay and lesbian couples across the nation raise children together. Same-sex child custody is governed by the same laws that govern traditional child custody. If the child or children in question were adopted or born into the marriage through in-vitro fertilization, the state will more than likely recognize both spouses as legal parents. If the child or children were brought into the marriage by one spouse from a previous relationship (or marriage) though, child custody could become significantly more difficult, given that California now has a three parent law (California family law code section 7612 (c)

Property Division – Although California law governs same-sex marriage and divorce, these laws do not oversee all facets of property and asset division. Common problems include: dividing pensions, dividing 401(k)s, and dealing with federal tax complications.

For example, heterosexual couples may divide a retirement account or pension without prompting early withdrawal fees or taxes. Gay & lesbian couples do not have this privilege. Similarly, heterosexual couples can avoid capital gains taxes when they exchange property; same-sex couples cannot avoid these expenses.

Spousal Support – Just like straight couples, gay & lesbian couples may establish spousal support payments when they terminate their marriages. However, alimony can be financially detrimental because it is not tax-deductible, according to federal law. Like property division, alimony payments will be perceived as a gift or capital gain by the federal government, making support payments subject to federal taxes. A legal representative can help you avoid financial pitfalls.