Same-Sex Divorce

Same-Sex Divorce

Michigan recognizes same-sex marriages to be legally no different than a marriage between a heterosexual couple. This means that generally speaking, the process for divorce is the same as it would be for any other couple. Divorcing spouses will need to reach an agreement on matters related to the division of assets, including spousal support or alimony if applicable.

A Brief History of Same-Sex Marriage Legislation

On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges that every state must allow and recognize lawfully performed marriages whether the couple is of the same-sex or opposite sex. The Supreme Court ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court made it very clear that the Fourteenth Amendment provides that no state shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”. This includes the fundamental right to marry in all states.

Child Custody Issues in a Michigan Same-Sex Divorce

One aspect of divorce that can prove particularly complex for same-sex couples is child custody. This can include issues of child support and parenting time (also known as visitation). In a heterosexual marriage, there is normally a legal assumption that both spouses are the biological parents of the children born during the marriage. In a same-sex marriage, this assumption is not necessarily present, creating unique issues for determining custody arrangements.

In summary, divorcing parents who have secured their parental rights through means such as a stepparent adoption or confirmatory adoption may have fewer legal hurdles in establishing rights to custody or parenting time. If parental rights have not been legally secured previously, a concept known as the equitable parent doctrine may be able to help establish these rights during a divorce.

Complex child custody issues occur during many divorces, and an experienced family law attorney can skillfully negotiate these agreements for any couple. All loving, responsible parents deserve to have their parental rights recognized by the courts, and our attorneys know how to advocate for the best interests of any family.

Work with Compassionate Oakland County Divorce Attorneys

Robbins and Licavoli, PLLC has extensive knowledge in the area of same-sex divorces. We understand that this is likely a very difficult time for you and your family, and we will handle your case with respect and compassion. If you are considering divorce, it is best to seek legal counsel early in the process. Should you need assistance with same-sex divorce, please contact our office. You can also complete our online contact form to request a consultation.

Get in Touch with Robbins & Licavoli