Many couples in the LGBTQIA+ community believe that since the state recognized their marriage several years ago, divorce will be the same as for other married couples. Certainly, the laws regarding distribution of property, alimony, custody and other issues apply equally to all married couples.
However, application of these laws can sometimes be more difficult because of the constraints that applied to LGBTQIA+ marriages for so many years. In addition, the modern family formation process also raises challenges for blended families and families created through assisted reproduction technology. Working with an attorney who understands how to deal with these concerns can protect your interests and help you build the best future.
Community Property Issues
You have probably heard that Nevada is a community property state. That means marital property is divided equally between divorcing couples. Marital property is split evenly, but assets considered to be a spouse’s separate property generally remain the property of that spouse alone. Separate property usually consists of property one spouse owned before the marriage, as well as property received by gift or inheritance or recovered through a personal injury lawsuit.
The critical issue for many LGBTQIA+ couples is establishing the date the marriage. Many couples lived together in a committed relationship that was not officially sanctioned as a marriage in Nevada until years later. Others got married in jurisdictions where LGBTQIA+ marriage was recognized but lived in a place where their marriage was not legal. In these situations, you can argue for a number of different equitable start dates for the marriage.
This is crucial for determining which property will be divided in divorce and which property will be kept by one spouse. Your attorney needs to be prepared with the right arguments to show why property should be divided in a way that protects your interests.
Alimony—also known as spousal support—is not awarded automatically in Nevada. Courts consider a number of factors to determine whether one spouse needs support and how much should be provided.
Often one of the critical factors in a support determination is the length of the marriage. Thus, just as for property division, it is important to establish the right start date of a marriage to gain an appropriate determination of support obligations.
Child Custody and Support
Many LGBTQIA+ couples share the responsibility of raising a child that is biologically related to only one of them. This could be a child from a previous relationship or a child born through assisted reproduction technology.
If parents are married or both on a birth certificate, parental rights are protected better in Nevada than in many other jurisdictions, but it is still important to ensure before the divorce is final that you have rights to your children and that child support obligations are established fairly.
Naimi Family Law Group Protects LGBTQIA+ Couples in Divorce
Divorce is complex and painful in both a financial and emotional sense. At Naimi Family Law Group, we appreciate all the challenges you are going through, and we are dedicated to getting you results that allow you to move forward to your best life ahead.
We have years of experience protecting the rights and property of LGBTQIA+ clients in divorce, custody, and other family law challenges. To put our experience to work for you, just schedule a confidential strategy session