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Five Tips for a Same Sex Couple Seeking a Marriage Dissolution

If you are part of a married same sex couple and divorce is now on the horizon, you certainly find yourself with many questions and concerns. You can alleviate some of the anxiety you undoubtedly feel by scheduling a free initial consultation with a New Jersey divorce lawyer at Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen. You can connect with a lawyer at the firm now or at any time that works for you. You can reach us at (201) 845-7400.

Do Not Carry on a Relationship to Make a Point

Many a married couple comprised of partners of the same sex understandably feel as if their marriage was an important accomplishment. They were able to lawfully do something that others in a similar situation were not permitted.

As a result, many a couple consisting of partners of the same gender may be especially reluctant to seek a divorce. This tends to be the case because a couple feels obliged to carry on a relationship to make some kind of point. In the end, proving a point simply is not reason enough to maintain a marriage that is not otherwise working.

There’s Only Divorce, Not Same Sex Divorce

As a partner in a couple of the same sex, you undoubtedly heard your peers and others talk about gay divorce. What you may have discerned in this article is that there is no such thing as a so-called gay divorce. While a gay divorcing couple may have some unique issues to address during a marriage dissolution case, you are wise to recall that all divorcing couples – not matter their sexual identity – have their own unique set of issues to address. In the final analysis, if you are a same sex couple seeking a marriage dissolution, you are seeking a divorce, period – not a gay divorce, lesbian divorce, or LGBTQ divorce.

Understand Potentially Unique Issues Involving Children

Although there is only divorce and not some type of specialized divorce for couples of the same gender, same sex couples may have at least some unique issues when they have a child or children. For example, there can be situations in which both parents have a legal relationship with a child while there are other cases in which only one parent technically has a legal connection to a child. (This can be the case from a legal standpoint even if both spouses have occupied actual parental roles with a child, regardless of legal status of a particular divorcing spouse.)

Understand the Rules Regarding Property and Debt Division

As was addressed a moment ago, there is only one set of laws and court procedures for a New Jersey divorce, whether a case involves a different sex or same sex couple. With that duly noted, when it comes to rules regarding division of property and debt, there can be some same sex case challenges that are not necessarily experienced when a couple consists of parties of different sexes.

When it comes to the division of asset and debts, a New Jersey divorce court is concerned with what are known as marital assets and liabilities. These are assets and debts that are accumulated by the parties during the course of the marriage. Assets and debts acquired by a party to a marriage before a marriage generally are not divisible between spouses during divorce proceedings.

This general practice can be distorted, at least somewhat, when a divorcing couple of the same sex have maintained some other type of legally recognizable union prior to the commencement of a lawful marriage. For example, if such a couple were part of a legally recognized civil union. If a civil union existed before a couple officially wed, assets and debts accumulated both during the term or the marriage and of the civil union may be deemed by the court as divisible between the spouses during the marriage dissolution proceedings.

Retain a New Jersey Attorney with Same Sex Divorce Experience

If you are a part of a married same sex couple and desire a divorce, or if your spouse is taking steps to initiate a divorce case, you are wise to retain legal counsel proactively. You will want to focus on retaining legal counsel that has experience in working with divorcing couples of the same gender. The first task that needs to be undertaken to hire a lawyer is to schedule an initial consultation with a capable, trustworthy divorce attorney at Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen at 201-845-7400.

Client Reviews
Peter has integrity, and values his relationships with his clients beyond his financial relationship with them. For me to say this about any lawyer is really saying something. He is compassionate, straightforward and knowledgeable. I would easily recommend him to anybody. Lewie W.
Peter Van Aulen handled my case with great diligence and integrity. He is also a compassionate individual who realizes what a difficult time divorce can be emotionally. Peter works hard and doesn't take any shortcuts in preparing for a case… I highly recommend Mr. Van Aulen and his staff. Chuck Solomon
Peter is an exceptionally great attorney. He handled my child custody case and was able to ease any of my concerns with honest answers. He always took the time to explain the pros/cons and was always available to answer any questions that I had… I would highly recommend this attorney to anyone who is looking for one. Jessica Cruz
Peter Van Aulen is a very compassionate, honest and straightforward person. He was there for me at my lowest point with a genuine concern not only for my situation, but for me and my child's well being above all… He is fair and he is strong and when push comes to shove he is there for you. Cathy Dodge
Our cousin used Peter's law office to help with a sticky custody situation. He was extremely responsive, very nice and most importantly did an awesome job with the court! He is awesome. Lawrence Polsky

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