Division of Assets in Same Sex Divorce Cases

In a same-sex divorce case, the spouses will need full clarity on what assets and debts will divide between them if there is no agreement beforehand or if the case leads to litigation rather than a mutually beneficial ending to the marriage. The judge usually must first determine the duration of the marriage before there is any clarity for the division of assets and debts.

The Duration of the Relationship Judgment

In many same-sex divorce cases, the judge will need to consider all factors available and determine his or her own judgment on how long the marriage truly is when the two spouses are together in all ways that make a marriage before the federal change in 2015. With the legal way open for same-sex couples to receive a marriage license throughout the country, there are additional problems that arise when the two spouses want to get a divorce. The duration of the marriage will affect what assets and debts are part of the relationship and at what point they are no longer separate items.

The Assets and Debts

When the judge is able to consider all the information and make a determination on how long the marriage truly is in the eyes of the law, he or she can include or exclude certain assets or debts as an individual or outside community or marital property. This may have a negative or positive effect on one or both spouses. By needing surgery, the two parties may need to split the debt. However, when an asset exists in an investment, both spouses could benefit from the increase in funding to the household. These issues generally carry over to the divorce case.

Disclosure of Assets in the Divorce Case

As with opposite-sex divorce cases, there is the need to disclose all assets accrued during the marriage. By knowing all items that exist in the relationship, the judge can make an appropriate decision on what should divide in which ways. This includes what debts require division and what property should go to which person. The disclosure often will run into various issues such as a lack of clarity of what items do exist until the judge determines the true duration of the marriage for these purposes. After the spouses know the timeframe, it is possible to review all assets that exist as marital property.

Individual Property

Even with the duration of the marriage is a significant factor that takes time, the two spouses may need to consider assets that are separate from marital property. Individual assets and property may still exist in the marriage without the need to mingle the items. These may appear through businesses, physical items such as houses or cars and investments that do not provide the marriage with any profits for the duration of the relationship. Some individual property becomes marital property over time and when the income or investment profits enter into the marriage. Sometimes, it takes a lawyer or other professional to fully separate these assets.

Proceeding through the Case

When the same-sex couple cannot continue with the legal marriage, it is important to know how best to end the situation for both parties in the most beneficial way. Often, this is not the standard court case. An alternate divorce resolution or ADR is important such as mediation. Even in alternate methods, the couple can proceed with the division of both assets and debts. Each party can disclose what exists in the marriage and what is marital property. Then, with open dialogue and peaceful processes, they both can divide what each will need and then compromise on what each spouse wants.

The division of assets usually accompanies the division of property, and the couple can decide on what items will separate or remain intact during an ADR or through a standard case where an agreement is possible before proceeding through the court case. This can provide better clarity in the division and help to seek a resolution to the conflict or what should divide in which way. The judge may change some things, but with an agreement already in place, most of the provisions may remain as specified.

Legal Support to Help with the Clarity of Division of Assets

It is usually with the support and assistance of a lawyer that the spouse in a same-sex divorce case can become clearer on the clarity of the division of assets through the legal duration of the marriage or what items must go through the division.

Provided by HG.org

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws and.how they may affect a case.

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