Our firm is dedicated to the LGBTQ community. We want to help you through all of your family law issues. Regardless of the matter at hand, if it has to do with you or your family, we are here for you. You can count on us. Our LGBTQ family law attorney can guide you through the process. For skilled and compassionate services when it is needed most, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates today.
LGBTQ Divorce Requirements
When LGBTQ couples in the state of New York wish to receive a divorce, they must meet certain requirements. For starters, there is a residential requirement that gives the court jurisdiction over the case. In New York, one or both spouses involved must have lived in the state for a minimum of two years. Additionally, couples also need to cite valid grounds for their divorce. Those grounds include:
- Irreconcilable differences for at least six months
The Process of LGBTQ Divorces
To begin a divorce, a couple is required to complete a Complaint for Divorce. The Complaint will include the grounds for divorce as well as any temporary relief. This can include the following:
- Spousal maintenance
- Legal fees
- Child support
- Child custody
If the divorce is contested, the proceedings will continue as normal. The couple will undergo the discovery process, a compliance conference, pre-trial motions, and trial. The divorce will be finalized with a Judgment of Divorce, including any orders from the court regarding spousal maintenance, property distribution, and agreements regarding child support and child custody.
Protecting LGBTQ Parental Rights
The laws regarding LGBTQ parents and child custody continue to evolve as time goes on. In many of these relationships, one of the partners may be the biological parent of the child in their family, and if a divorce occurs without the second, non-biological parent formally adopting their child, it may complicate a custody battle. It is important to work out a child custody and visitation agreement that allows both parents to have a close relationship with their child, as long as it is in the child’s best interest.
Not long ago, the state of New York held many barriers that made it difficult for LGBTQ couples to adopt or foster children. In 2010, the state enacted a law allowing them to jointly adopt a child. While this is an exciting process, it can also be a long and confusing one. This is why LGBTQ couples should retain the services of an attorney who can help them through this time and ensure the adoption of their child goes as smoothly as possible. This is the case for those seeking to adopt a child born to different parents, or when one spouse seeks to become the adoptive parent of the partner’s biological child.
Determining Alimony in LGBTQ Divorces
In New York, different types of alimony can be awarded in a divorce depending on the circumstances of the marriage. In many cases, it depends on the length of the marriage. In LGBTQ divorces, it is important to keep in mind when same-sex marriage became legal in New York. While the couple may have been together for over 20 years, their marriage may not be legally recognized for as long. The types of alimony that may be awarded in New York can include:
- Permanent alimony: This remains in effect either for life or until there is a change in circumstances. The amount that is awarded is based on the length of the marriage. Marriages that last up to 15 years may be awarded for 15% to 30% of the duration. Between 16 and 20 years, the payments may be awarded for 30% to 50% of the duration. For marriages that last 20 years or more, it may be awarded between 35% to 50% of the duration.
- Rehabilitative alimony: If one spouse postpones their career to support their partner, this may be ordered so the dependent spouse can receive the education or training they need.
- Reimbursement alimony: If one spouse financially supports their partner while they were pursuing education or training, this alimony can reimburse them.
When divorcing spouses can work together, they may benefit from the process of mediation to civilly resolve the matter. Divorce mediation involves a neutral outside party who works as a mediator to help both parties through negotiations of their marital or family issues. This allows both parties to reach amicable resolutions without having a judge determine the future of these matters on their behalf.
LGBTQ Domestic Violence Cases
Many of the tactics used in LGBTQ domestic violence cases are the same as those of non-LGBTQ abusers. This can include physical and sexual violence, emotional and psychological abuse, social isolation, economic control, etc. That being said, domestic violence within same-sex relationships does prove to be unique in some ways, as specific responses and resources may differ. If you are in an LGBTQ relationship and are the victim of domestic violence, our firm is here to help.
Contact an LGBTQ Family Law Attorney
LGBTQ spouses who are considering a divorce in the state of New York can come to Peter V. Mandi & Associates for a consultation regarding their case. Our firm is here to assist you through these difficult times so you can move towards a better future. Our supportive and committed attorneys work tirelessly to reach the best possible conclusions for your case. To speak with an experienced LGBTQ family law attorney, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates today.