Same Sex Divorce in Maryland
When a couple enters into a same sex marriage and then divorces, many legal issues can potentially arise. While partners of the same sex have been able to marry in Maryland since 2013, other marriage laws have not fully progressed. Unfortunately, this makes same sex divorce more complicated than divorce enacted by heterosexual couples. At Lebovitz Law, LLC, we believe you deserve access to a satisfying outcome no matter what. It’s our goal to help you find the right solution and to keep you informed. Below, the experienced attorneys at Lebovitz Law explain the complications surrounding same sex divorce in Maryland, and discuss ways we can mitigate these concerns.
In the state of Maryland, marital property refers to any property that is gained, saved, and/or obtained by either or both parties while married (with some minor non-marital exceptions). It’s not too difficult to see why this could become complicated during a same sex divorce. If two same sex partners were living together for ten years prior to the change of law in 2013, they may have acquired shared property during that time. Let’s say, for instance, that John and Joseph have been paying off a home mortgage together for over ten years. In 2013, they married and stayed together for another seven years. If one partner’s name is not on the deed, the law may not recognize their equal right to possession of the home. At Lebovitz Law, LLC, our experienced attorneys can help you protect your investments by examining other aspects of the law.
As with property division, the length of the marriage affects alimony as well. If a heterosexual couple married and raised children together with one partner staying at home, that individual would receive more spousal support during a divorce. This is because the stay-at-home parent has been dependent on the working parent for a long period of time. In a same-sex divorce, the same scenario would produce different consequences. Legally, a same-sex marriage may not be considered lengthy, which may have implications for alimony disbursement. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate this process and find a fulfilling outcome for both partners.
In same sex divorce proceedings, child custody can become complex. In spite of this, it is not impossible to navigate the situation. The common issue that arises here is second-parent adoption. In a heterosexual marriage, two biological parents have immediate rights to their children upon birth. If a same sex couple adopted a child together before their marriage and the second parent didn’t apply for second parent adoption, this could be problematic. Legally, this individual does not have any rights to their child unless they can be established as a de-facto parent. In Maryland, a de facto parent must meet the following criteria:
- The biological parent needs to agree to the continuation of the parent-child relationship (As of 2020, only one parent needs to consent)
- The non-biological parent needs to have lived with the child in the same household for a certain length of time
- The non-biological parent needs to have provided the child with a substantial amount of care daily
- The non-biological parent must have been a parent to the child for a protracted length of time
Again, it is always best to have legal assistance when complications like this arise. Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.
Do You Need Help With Same Sex Divorce Proceedings? Contact the Attorneys at Lebovitz Law, LLC Today
Whether you are searching for an experienced lawyer to assist with same sex divorce proceedings, child support negotiations or other issues in Maryland, the attorneys at Lebovitz Law, LLC can help. To learn more about how we can assist you, please contact us today at (410) 657-6494.