Maryland Same-Sex Divorce Lawyer

Divorce can be difficult regardless of whether a couple is same-sex or heterosexual. Disputes can arise regarding child support, custody, or alimony, among other things. It could be possible to limit the contentiousness of a same-sex divorce by following the guidance of a seasoned family law attorney.

Since same-sex marriages are treated the same as any other union in Maryland, the issues facing the dissolution of these marriages are often the same. However, a Maryland same-sex divorce lawyer could provide compassion and understanding in circumstances that are unique under the law.

Grounds for Divorce in Maryland

There are two different types of divorces that could be available to a same-sex couple once a relationship breaks down. State law recognizes both fault and no-fault divorces. A same-sex divorce attorney in Maryland could review an individual’s circumstances and help determine the appropriate type of divorce to pursue.

A fault-based divorce involves one spouse filing for divorce lays the blame for the breakup of the marriage on the other party. There are different grounds to qualify for a fault-based divorce, including insanity, cruelty, excessively vicious conduct, imprisonment, adultery, and desertion. In order for the court to sign off on a divorce on these grounds, the spouse filing for divorce must provide proof.

Divorce is still an option for same-sex couples that have not met the burden of a fault divorce. A no-fault divorce can occur without the need for proving any of the elements of fault-based divorce. One option for a no-fault divorce is for both parties to consent with a written agreement resolving all issues arising out of the marriage. In addition to mutual consent, evidence that the couple has been separated for at least 12 consecutive months is a viable grounds for a no-fault divorce. While no-fault divorces are often simpler, fault grounds could play a role when it comes time to determine if alimony is required.

Same-Sex Couples and De-Facto Parents

For years, one of the major challenges facing divorcing same-sex couples involved child custody. While federal law mandated states to allow same-sex marriages, state law has often been slow to catch regarding issues of paternity or child custody. Some parents found themselves without legal parental rights following a divorce.

Fortunately, Maryland has taken additional steps to protect the rights of same-sex parents upon divorce through a legal process known as de-facto parenthood. A de-facto parent is an adult that can seek custody or visitation with a child despite not being their biological parent.

This option might not be available in every instance. To qualify as a de-facto parent, a person must have lived in the household with the child with the permission of the biological parent. There must also have been a parent-child relationship that developed between the two during that time.

Once an individual is recognized as a de-facto parent under the law, they enjoy the same rights as a biological parent. Any individual in a same-sex marriage that hopes to retain legal rights to their children could benefit from the guidance of a same-sex divorce attorney in Maryland.

Speak with a Maryland Same-Sex Divorce Attorney Today

Before you pursue a divorce, it could be in your best interest to speak to an attorney. The law surrounding same-sex marriage is relatively new, and unique challenges could come up when you least expect it.

The right legal counsel could provide you with peace of mind during your divorce. To ensure you are treated fairly during divorce proceedings, reach out to a Maryland same-sex divorce lawyer today.