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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Mar 1, 2015

Same-sex marriage has been legally recognized in Arizona since October 17, 2014.  While that day is one to be remembered as a victory for the LGBT community, it means that same-sex divorce is also a recognized legal process in Arizona and enjoy the same protections under the state’s domestic relations laws as heterosexual partners.

The extension of civil marriage, union, and domestic partnership rights to same-sex couples in various jurisdictions can raise legal issues upon dissolution of these unions that are not experienced by opposite-sex couples, and even though the recognition of same-sex marriage in Arizona is a step forward, there is still a possibility that homophobia and heterosexism might influence legal decision-making in same-sex divorce cases. It is important to be well-informed of legal rights to help ensure equal protection for these couples.

One unique issue for gay couples is how the length of the marriage is determined. This is important for calculating spousal maintenance (formerly known as alimony) or the division of retirement benefits.  Another big issue that the advent of same sex marriage in Arizona does not address is what happens regarding any children born of the union.

If you are splitting up with a same-sex partner and especially if you have children, you are likely to face some difficult challenges. The law—both as it is written and as it is practiced—can be very unfair to same-sex parents, and to make matters worse, the legal rules change constantly.  Lesbian and gay parents are forging new territory—which is great when you are in the mood to be a revolutionary, but not so much when all you want to do is see your child.

While the kinks are being worked out of the new system and even afterward, you will need to have the right family law attorney helping you every step of the way—a gay friendly lawyer with not only the necessary empathy but also the proper knowledge of the constantly evolving law related to LGBTQ issues.