Fulton Divorce Lawyers Provide Strong Advocacy for LGBTQ Clients
Understand your same-sex marriage and divorce rights in Maple Lawn
For years, the status of same-sex marriage and divorce had been uncertain. Part of the uncertainty was how Maryland treated same-sex couples legally, and part of the confusion was that different states had different laws for same-sex marriage. Even if a couple could be married in Maryland, their marriage wouldn’t be recognized in other states. Some of that confusion ended in 2015 with the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Obergefell v. Hodges. In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples had the right to be married and that the marriage must be recognized in every other state. Of course, some same-sex couples participated in civil unions, as opposed to marriages, and those relationships raise similar sets of issues.
At McCabe Russell, PA, our Fulton divorce attorneys understand the legalities and practical difficulties of same-sex marriages and divorces. Same-sex couples also go through the trauma and anxiety of the end of a relationship. The spouses need to equitably divide their marital property, determine who has custody of the children, and arrange for child support and the possibility of alimony. Our lawyers are dedicated to helping our clients dissolve their marriages and embark on the next stage of their lives.
Understanding the basics of the same-sex divorce process
Maryland has two types of divorces – absolute and limited. In both cases, child custody and support orders will be decreed, and alimony may be awarded. The court will not handle asset division until the time of the absolute divorce. The other difference between these two types of divorces is that, in a limited divorce, you are still legally married. In an absolute divorce, you are no longer married, and free to pursue a new relationship if you wish.
Gay and lesbian couples can also seek an uncontested divorce. They need to meet the following three requirements:
- Both spouses must consent to the divorce.
- The couple should agree on child custody and child support arrangements
- They must have a property division agreement.
If the couple has minor children, they must wait 12 months before the divorce is official. If they do not have minor children, they can file for divorce under the grounds of mutual consent.
What are the grounds for divorce in Maryland?
There are six at-fault grounds for divorce:
- Excessively vicious conduct
Comprehensive divorce services offered in Fulton
Our team provides a wide range of legal services and support for LGBTQ clients seeking to end their marriages. You can rely on our guidance for issues concerning:
- Equitable division of marital property. Same-sex couples have a right to an equitable and fair (not necessarily equal) division of all the marital assets, such as the home, bank accounts, personal items, business interests and retirement benefits. The challenge for many same-sex couples is that, until recently, their marriages may not have been recognized legally. This creates complications with dividing marital property from separate property.
- Child custody and support. LGBTQ parents sometimes have different custody issues than straight couples. While legally, the rights of same-sex parents should be the same as for straight parents, there are often practical issues that our lawyers review and draft in parenting plan agreements and litigation. Once physical and legal custody are established, Howard County assesses support obligations primarily on the income of the respective parents and the number of children who need support.
- As with equitable distribution, alimony for same-sex couples is fairly new. Transitional alimony, indefinite alimony and alimony pendente lite (alimony during the divorce contest) generally are designed to help spouses who are at an economic disadvantage to get financial assistance after divorce.
How long does it take before the divorce is final?
An uncontested Maryland divorce can be resolved in as little as three months, while a contested divorce can take sixteen months to two years or longer. How long a divorce takes, beyond any applicable waiting period, is a function of how willing the parties are to work through their differences and agree on a settlement, or complete the litigation process. The divorce will be final once the final divorce decree has been signed barring any appeal.
Types of Cases We Handle
Our Fulton attorneys handle a variety of cases, including:
Talk with our caring Maple Lawn same-sex divorce lawyers now
At McCabe Russell, PA, we have developed a valuable methodology for handling family law cases. We listen, learn and assess your family situation. We then work with you to determine your priorities and advise you of your legal and practical options. We plan a strategy depending on how cooperative or uncooperative your spouse is and then fight to get you the best results possible, so you can start your new life securely and with confidence. To speak with our lawyers, please phone us at 443-812-1435 or fill out our contact form.
8171 Maple Lawn Blvd
Fulton, Maryland 20759
Phone: (443) 812-1435