Many same-sex couples were together for years, even decades before they were allowed to marry. That can be a complicated problem in a divorce. Here at Robinson and Hadeed, we have handled many same-sex divorces and custody cases.
One of the issues that arises is that courtrooms often only divide assets from the time a couple actually got married. In Washington, the division of assets does not hinge on just the time of the marriage, if the parties were in a committed relationship prior.
In same-sex relationships, either one or both of the parents are not the biological parent. There’s an entirely new set of legal issues related to that, that we are well versed in navigating. It’s taken too long, but in Washington state, the law recognizes the value and importance of the role of both parents play in a same sex relationship in the best interests of the child, whether it is a biological parent or not. Ms. Hadeed worked closely with her former partner, Barbara Fuller, in one of the seminal cases establishing the rights of a same sex parent in Virginia. Click here for more information
If you are a married same-sex couple or have a domestic partnership, we are here to help your divorce go smoothly with the best possible outcome for you.
Choosing the “Right” Approach to Your Divorce
Just as no two couples weather exactly the same circumstances, no two divorces progress in exactly the same ways. When it comes to same sex relationships and divorce in Gig Harbor, each couple choosing to divorce must select the “approach” that best fits their unique situation. Not every divorce can be amicable and not every divorce has to be contentious. There is “middle ground” to be found under most circumstances.
Sometimes, when couples have been together for a very short period of time, they share no significant property, and they share no dependents, their divorce processes can be streamlined as genuine “uncontested” divorces. As long as both spouses agree to the terms of the divorce settlement that they have drawn up, this process generally doesn’t take much time, effort, or money to complete.
By contrast, other forms of “uncontested” divorce are more involved… but, unlike contested divorces, do not usually require any judicial intervention. These divorce approaches include mediation and attorney-led negotiation. Some couples are able to reach an agreement about most elements of their divorce settlement (and child custody arrangements, when applicable) without an attorney’s assistance. However, they ultimately require assistance “ironing out” some of the details and formalizing their agreement. This is a low-stress, low-cost way to approach uncontested divorce.
If you and your spouse need to work through some disagreements about asset division and/or child custody but your disagreements aren’t so set in stone that your situation is likely to require judicial intervention to settle your differences, you may benefit from a mediated approach to your divorce or an attorney-led approach to your negotiations. Mediation involves sitting down with your spouse, both of your attorneys, and a neutral, third-party mediator in an effort to facilitate productive dialogue. Attorney-led negotiation doesn’t require you to be in the same room as your spouse, which may serve you better if tensions in your relationship are high at present and/or there is a history of domestic violence in your relationship.
If you are not in a position wherein you’ve decided to file for divorce but you could benefit from formalized legal protections concerning your assets and/or child custody needs while you’re separated from your spouse, you may benefit from filing for legal separation formally. This option allows you to stay married and protected while you’re separated. Please connect with our firm for more information.
Legal Assistance Is Available
If you have concerns about your Gig Harbor same sex relationship and/or divorce situation, please connect with the experienced Washington family lawyers at Robinson & Hadeed today. Our team regularly assists clients who are facing divorce scenarios that are straightforward, unusually complex, and reaching across the spectrum of “middle ground” in between. Regardless of the nature of the unique Gig Harbor same sex relationship and divorce situation that you’re facing, our knowledgeable and compassionate team can advocate on behalf of your interests effectively. We look forward to speaking with you.