Westport Same Sex Marriage Lawyers
In 2008, the Connecticut Supreme Court in Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health, 289 Conn. 135, 957 A.2d 407, ruled that allowing same-sex couples to form same-sex unions but not marriages violated the Connecticut Constitution. With that landmark ruling, Connecticut became the third state, after Massachusetts and California, to legalize same-sex marriages. Of course, with the right to marry comes the right to divorce. Our Westport divorce lawyers have extensive experience representing individuals in same-sex divorces. We are sensitive to the nuances involved, including estate planning, powers of attorney, health care proxies, and adoption.
Legally are there any differences between same-sex divorces and opposite-sex divorces in Connecticut?
No. All couples divorcing in Connecticut have the same legal rights and obligations.
How does converting my civil union to a marriage impact my Connecticut divorce?
Unfortunately, the property division and alimony in Connecticut laws have not caught up to the times. Both the property division statute and alimony statute require the Court to consider “the length of the marriage” when entering Orders. Connecticut Courts have held it was an error to consider “the length of the relationship” instead of “the length of the marriage.” Thus, currently, if a Court were to enter Orders based on “the length of the civil union” instead of the “length of the marriage,” it would likely give rise to an appellate issue. However, since the Courts have broad discretion when dividing property and entering alimony Orders, a skilled and experienced Westport divorce lawyer can persuade the Court to enter equitable Orders based on the totality of your relationship. It would be fundamentally unfair if a couple spent a lifetime supporting one another and making mutual life decisions to be limited to a date in time when the government finally permitted them to marry legally.
How do my estate planning documents impact my same-sex divorce?
At Broder Orland Murray & DeMattie LLC, we know many same-sex couples had to take extra precautions with their estate planning documents due to the inability to legally marry before 2008. For this reason, we routinely partner with exceptional trusts and estate lawyers to ensure that your estate planning documents are modified in conjunction with your divorce agreement so that you actually receive every asset you expect to receive after your divorce is finalized.
What child custody issues should I be aware of as a same-sex couple?
Child custody issues are more complicated if the parents have not taken the legal steps needed to ensure that both parents have full legal parental rights. If you or your spouse have not taken the proper steps to adopt your child, you could lose custody of your child on technical grounds, even if you are the primary caregiver. Having an experienced same-sex divorce lawyer on your side helps ensure that you are protecting your interests so you can continue to serve your child’s best interests.
Connect with One of Our Experienced Greenwich Same-Sex Marriage Lawyers Today
To schedule an in-person or virtual appointment with one of our Westport same-sex marriage lawyers, please call 203-222-4949 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment.