Because of the long-awaited United States Supreme Court ruling, same-sex marriage is now recognized in every jurisdiction—including Chattanooga. While the law allows these marriages to proceed, same-sex couples face certain challenges when their relationship ends.
If you intend to pursue a divorce from your same-sex spouse, it is important that you have legal counsel who understands the unique issues that can come with these cases. A forward-thinking divorce attorney could prepare you for the process and help you understand what challenges might arise. Before you initiate your petition, you could benefit from speaking to a Chattanooga LGBTQ divorce lawyer.
There are various challenges that are unique to divorcing same-sex couples. In addition to the emotional and financial toll that a divorce can take, the couples must also navigate a legal system that can be confusing or even harsh.
While the ruling in federal court required states to allow same-sex marriage, it did not provide guidance on divorce issues. For that reason, the legal issues surrounding the division of property, or the custody of minor children, can be confusing in a same-sex divorce.
There are also issues of bias to consider. While state and federal law require judges to treat everyone equally, the reality is that personal bias could creep into a judge’s decision. Dealing with these biases can make an already difficult process more challenging.
Due to the unique nature of LGBTQ divorce, it is helpful to have the guidance of legal counsel who understands these challenges. An experienced lawyer serving Chattanooga could rely on their experience with these cases to provide useful insight for same-sex couples pursuing a divorce.
While there are fundamental differences in how some courts approach LGBTQ divorce, the requirements as written are the same in all cases. Every divorcing couple must meet state residency requirements for the court to have jurisdiction to dissolve the marriage.
To qualify for a divorce under state law, one or both parties must have lived within the state for at least six months before filing the petition. In other words, a spouse may file for divorce in Chattanooga even if they no longer live there—so long as their spouse has remained a resident of the state for at least the last six months.
There are also limits on how quickly the court can resolve the divorce once it is filed. At a minimum, there is a 60-day waiting period beginning on the date of filing. A judge may not issue a final divorce decree until after this period has expired. If a couple shares minor children, that waiting period is extended to 90 days. An attorney familiar with LGBTQ dissolutions could help a Chattanooga resident determine if they meet the requirements and proceed with their case.
If you are seeking to dissolve your same-sex marriage, choosing the right legal counsel is essential. The right team could help you prepare for the unique issues that many face in these cases.
You do not have to go through the process of dissolving your marriage on your own. Call a Chattanooga LGBTQ divorce lawyer today for a confidential consultation.