Fairfax Same-Sex Divorce Lawyer

The challenges and hardships that come with divorce are not unique to heterosexual relationships. Same-sex couples also face many of the same conflicts regarding alimony, child support, and child custody during a divorce. A Fairfax same-sex divorce lawyer could ensure your rights are protected during a divorce or separation.

Even if you anticipate an amicable split, the guidance of an attorney could be invaluable. A seasoned divorce attorney could help you not only protect your rights but also prevent unnecessary conflict or delay.

Grounds for Divorce

There are two types of divorce for same-sex couples, and the grounds for each of them vary. While the commonwealth maintains traditional fault-based divorce, the law also allows for a no-fault divorce option commonly referred to as voluntary separation. A same-sex divorce lawyer in Fairfax could assist with either type of divorce.

Fault-Based Divorce

In a fault-based divorce, one spouse must allege that the other spouse has done something that resulted in the marriage failing. This type of divorce can be more contentious, as it involves laying blame for the failed marriage at the feet of a partner.

There are different grounds for a fault-based divorce. One of the most common grounds for divorce is adultery. The courts will also grant a divorce on the grounds that cruelty led to the reasonable fear of bodily harm. Other grounds can include abandonment, desertion, or a felony conviction resulting in more than a year of confinement.

Voluntary Separation

Unlike fault-based divorce, voluntary separation does not require same-sex couples to lay blame on one another for a marriage failing. Instead, the only grounds to prove are that the couple has lived separately and apart without any cohabitation for a specific amount of time. Either spouse has the right to file for this type of divorce. If there are not any minor children from the marriage, either party may file for divorce following six months of separation.

Obtaining a Same-Sex Divorce in Fairfax

The steps for filing for divorce begin with a document known as the bill of complaint. This is essentially a lawsuit seeking a court order formally dissolving a legal marriage. The bill of complaint will spell out the type of divorce a person is seeking as well as their grounds.

Once they file the bill of complaint, a person must serve it on their spouse. Typically, service is completed by the local sheriff or a private process server. Once served, a spouse has a limited time to respond. If they opt not to do so, the court has the power to grant the divorce in short order.

How Property is Distributed in a Same-Sex Divorce

Fairfax is considered an “equitable distribution” jurisdiction. That means that the court will determine what is fair when distributing marital property at the end of a divorce. Understand that not all property is marital property. Some assets that a person brings into a marriage may not be considered marital property, for example. The same is true for things like an inheritance, even if it is received during the course of a marriage. A lawyer could provide insight into how the property might be divided during a same-sex divorce.

Contact a Fairfax Same-Sex Divorce Attorney Today

Although there are challenges that are unique to same-sex divorce, the process largely works the same for any other couple. With the right legal counsel, you could complete a divorce without unnecessary drama or delay.

You have the right to seek legal counsel when pursuing a same-sex divorce. Let a Fairfax same-sex divorce lawyer take you through every step of the process. Call right away to schedule a consultation.

Fairfax Divorce Lawyer