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How same-sex divorces may be different

Although New Jersey has recognized same-sex marriages for a number of years, the June 2015 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court may have far-reaching implications that can affect state laws across the country. In particular, this decision may create certain implications for gay divorce.

While some partners were fighting for the right to marry, others were fighting for the right to divorce. Same-sex marriage was not recognized in all states, and some of these states would refuse to grant divorce to a couple that they did not recognize as being lawfully married, even if they were legally married in another state. With the requirement for all states to now recognize these unions, these laws will quite likely be repealed. However, one contentious area of family law that current laws may not be enacted to handle involves the child custody of the children of same-sex partners. In many cases, a sperm donor or egg donor is used to help a same-sex couple have a child. In some cases, a partner may help raise a child who is the biological product of the other spouse, which can affect custody decisions.

One area of the law that is likely not to change is the equitable distribution of assets. This matter is more straightforward than other aspects of gay marriage. For example, same-sex spouses may be entitled to the same benefits as opposite-sex spouses, but states may not yet be equipped to handle these claims.

Individuals who need information about their rights during and following a same-sex divorce may choose to discuss their concerns with a family law attorney who is familiar with LGBT issues. Legal counsel may be able to discuss issues that may arise and the legal arguments that may be made in support of the spouse.

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