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Strategic Legal Advice During Same-Sex Divorce
Based in Sacramento, the Law Offices of Fredrick S. Cohen offer dynamic family law representation to clients throughout Northern California in cases involving divorce, domestic partnership divorce, child custody, child support, paternity actions, post-divorce modifications and more. The firm’s legal knowledge and devotion to its clients and community is recognized by the California legal profession. Attorney Fredrick S. “Rick” Cohen is certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a Family Law Specialist.
While same-sex divorce follows the same laws as opposite-sex divorce, there are some important differences. For example, courts only recently recognized that same-sex spouses have rights to pension plans, which are governed by federal law.
Furthermore, you and your spouse may have been together for many years before same-sex marriage was legalized and may have commingled your assets prior to marriage. Since California law separates property acquired during marriage, you may need to take your case outside of the courtroom.
The reality is that case law has not developed for same-sex divorce to the same extent it has developed for opposite-sex divorce. That is why it is vital to work with an experienced lawyer.
Domestic Partnership Divorce
Domestic partnerships, like marriages, are legal unions and must be legally ended. Unlike traditional divorce, however, there are no residency requirements as long as you entered into your domestic partnership in California. You have two options:
- Summary dissolution: This is the quickest way to end your domestic partnership, but you must meet very specific requirements. For example, you must both agree to end your partnership, have been in your domestic partnership for five years or less, have no children together (including children through adoption) and have only a modest amount of property and debt to divide.
- Divorce/dissolution: Similar to traditional divorce, a domestic partnership divorce involves dividing property and debts, determining child custody and support (where necessary) and other complex issues. While you can handle a summary dissolution on your own, it is a good idea to hire an attorney for your divorce.