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Westlake Village Same Sex Divorce Lawyer

LGBT Friendly Divorce Lawyer Serving Westlake Village
same-sex couple

As of January 2014, same sex marriage was legal in sixteen countries and seventeen states, including California. Rough estimates suggest that since 2004 (when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage), at least 71,165 same sex unions have taken place across our country.

If you are one of those couples and have since encountered rocky times, pursuing a divorce might be the smartest decision you can make. It is imperative that you remember that if you remain married, registered, or partnered, you are legally and financially bound to your partner.

While California recognizes same-sex marriage, there are still many complicating factors, including:

  • Legal commitments in multiple states. It is not uncommon for a couple to register as domestic partners in one state, as reciprocal beneficiary partners in another state, and to tie the knot in a third state.
  • Legal ambiguity. In the words of one legal expert, "Everything will be murky until case law develops and the murkier it is, the longer it's going to take to hash out—and the more hours it takes, the more expensive it is." While family court judges have more than 100 years' worth of case law at their disposal when deciding on heterosexual divorce matters, with same-sex divorce such a recent issue, there is very little precedent for judges to consult.

Why You Need an Experienced LGBT Divorce Attorney on Your Side

If you and your partner disagree covering subjects such as money, property, or custody, you need to make sure your partner does not take advantage of the situation and use the legal confusion to deprive you of your rights. Issues such as child custody, which are already difficult and volatile in traditional divorces, can become more complicated in a same-sex divorce. If you aren't the biological mother, for example, your legal standing to argue for custody may be in question.

The best step you can take to protect your rights is to retain experienced legal representation immediately. With the right advocate on your side, you can save time and costs and avoid an emotional, dragged-out battle. Contact Debra J. Kay Attorney at Law, to speak with an experienced gay divorce lawyer in Westlake Village!

Who gets Custody During a Same-Sex Divorce?

Just like heterosexuals, same-sex couples may have to face the challenges of custody during a divorce. Until the court systems create a more standardized process of establishing custody for gay couples, they may run into scenarios that prove to be more difficult. In addition, unless each party can compromise on the terms, the court will have to take the following into consideration:

  • Perceived caregiver roles
  • Biological information
  • Other gray-areas that would come out during a discovery phase

Same-Sex Domestic Partnerships

Although gay couples have similar hoops to jump through as heterosexuals when filing for divorce, they may be required to dissolve a domestic partnership on top of the marriage as well. This is because you may be bound by both covenants. Once you dissolve each requirement, you will be considered single and eligible to get remarried.

California Laws

California recognizes equivalent registrations from other states, but one spouse must have lived in California for six months before a same sex couple can file for divorce. In some cases, California does exempt same-sex marriage from the residency requirements. For example, it allows non-residents married in California to return to our state to divorce if their home state refuses to dissolve their marriage (see California Family Code Section 2320(b)(1)).

Contact Debra J. Kay Attorney at Law!

When you retain the legal services of Debra J. Kay Attorney at Law you can have peace of mind knowing that we walk you through each aspect of this complex process in a clear, caring, and patient manner. At our office, we help individuals like you with all matters related to same-sex marriage, divorce, and domestic partnerships. Our legal team has a comprehensive understanding of the law and is deeply committed to the rights of gay and lesbian individuals.

Topics we can discuss with you include:

We are proactive and strive to resolve disputes in an efficient, effective, and amicable manner. Our team does everything possible to protect your financial and parental rights, without dragging out litigation. We have nearly three decades of legal experience behind us and our founding lawyer is a certified family law specialist, making her more than capable to handle the various nuances of your case. When you turn to our firm for legal help, we promise to give you the personalized and attentive legal services you deserve!

What are you waiting for? Schedule a case evaluation with us today by contacting our office now!

We proudly serve clients in Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, and the surrounding communities.

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Debra J. Kay Attorney at Law - Westlake Village Divorce Attorney
Located at 2801 Townsgate Rd, #360 Westlake Village, CA 91361. View Map
Phone: (805) 416-0212 | Fax: (805) 379-2228

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