LGBT divorce
LGBTQ Divorce

Somerville Divorce Lawyer Represents LGBTQ Spouses

New Jersey attorney handles the dissolution of same-sex marriages

New Jersey legalized same-sex marriage in 2013, a couple of years before the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges finally established marriage equality nationwide. When you review the letter of the law regarding divorce and other family law matters, there is no distinction for LGBTQ couples, but many same-sex families still face numerous challenges when trying to resolve domestic legal matters. Located in Somerville, the firm of Katherine K. Wagner, Attorney At Law offers comprehensive counsel to LGBTQ clients on a full range of legal concerns relating to divorce and child custody.

Challenges that frequently arise during same-sex divorces

During a divorce, you might be dealing with emotional turmoil, but unless you assert your legal rights effectively, you might have problems long after the marriage is dissolved. Unwinding a shared financial life is difficult, and if you cannot reach consensus, the laws on alimony and property division might not fairly address the reality of your same-sex relationship. For example, one of the most important factors in an alimony determination is the duration of the parties’ marriage. However, same-sex marriage has only been allowed in New Jersey since 2013 and most people who lived in other parts of the country had to wait even longer. So an LGBTQ couple who married eight or nine years ago might have been living together in a committed relationship for decades. Drawing on more than 25 years of as a family attorney, Ms. Wagner works to achieve a result that reflects the true nature of the relationship.

Similarly, restrictions on marriage in the past can affect property division matters. In certain cases, LGBTQ partners might have purchased real estate or household items, with one or the other taking legal title. Technically, these items might be classified as separate property, but their value should be divided between the parties.

Knowledgeable guidance for LGBTQ parents on child custody issues

Many same-sex couples use assisted reproductive technology when they decide to have children. In other situations, one spouse might have one or more children before getting married. Though both spouses might have shared parenting duties, a divorce could lead to serious conflict if only one spouse is the legal parent. New Jersey courts have recognized that it is important for young people to maintain relationships with their “psychological parents,” even if there is no biological tie. 

Demonstrating that a psychological relationship exists can be subjective and might lead to emotional conflict, especially if the adults are not on friendly terms. Adopted children and those who were conceived through artificial insemination might still have relationships with biological parents who are not part of the marriage. Ms. Wagner has extensive experience with highly contested custody matters and provides compassionate guidance to LGBTQ parents so that they can obtain custody and visitation terms that acknowledge their importance in the lives of their sons and daughters.

Contact an accomplished New Jersey lawyer for counsel on a same-sex divorce  

Katherine K. Wagner, Attorney At Law in Somerville represents LGBTQ clients throughout New Jersey in divorces, custody disputes and other domestic legal matters. Please call 908-526-0099 or contact the firm online to schedule a meeting regarding your case.