Same-Sex Divorce in Birmingham, Alabama
Although same-sex marriages were only recently permitted in Alabama, many same-sex couples who married in other states reside in Alabama. Same-sex couples now have the same rights as other couples, including the right to pursue a divorce. However, same-sex couples can face unique challenges if they have children, or if they adopted children before same-sex marriage was legalized in the state. Even couples who had children after they got married may face unique custody challenges, especially if one parent isn’t the biological parent of the child and proper adoption paperwork has not been completed. This can create unique complexities for child custody matters and in matters of child support.
Same-sex couples are plagued by the same stressors as any other couples, so it is inevitable that some of these marriages will end in divorce. When it comes to ending a marriage in Alabama, same-sex couples must consider the same financial and legal matters that heterosexual couples may face. However, if couples were together for a long period of time before same-sex marriage was legalized, there may be more disputes regarding what is considered community property and what property belonged to each party prior to the marriage. Same-sex divorce is new terrain that is made somewhat more complicated by the fact that same-sex marriage was only recently legalized.
Since same-sex marriage and divorce is relatively new in Alabama, it’s important to have an Alabama family lawyer on your side. In fact, as recently as 2014, same-sex divorces were denied through the court system. One particularly challenging aspect of same-sex divorce in Alabama is how to define the beginning of the marriage.
- Did the marriage begin when the couple married in another state?
- Did the marriage begin when the Supreme Court ruled on June 26, 2015?
- Did the marriage not begin until Alabama ruled to allow same-sex marriage?
The formal date in which a marriage begins is important, as the length of a marriage can be especially important in the property settlement process. Alimony payments are often paid based on how long a marriage lasted. Property division can also be impacted by the length of a marriage or by the marriage date. For example, was the home purchased before or after the couple was married? Were assets and debts acquired before or after the marriage began? As you can see, same-sex divorce can present many challenges. It is important to have an experienced Alabama family law attorney on your side. The Zwiebel Law Firm is a same-sex divorce lawyer in Birmingham, Alabama who can help you resolve some of these tough questions.
Same-Sex Alimony in Birmingham, Alabama
Alimony is money paid by a higher-earning partner to a lower-earning partner. Alimony is meant to help a lower-earning spouse maintain a standard of living after divorce. Sometimes couples support one another in significant ways during a marriage. One partner might pay for their partner’s schooling. Or, one partner may stay home to raise the children while the other will go to work. Alimony is designed to ensure that the partner who stayed home to raise the children or who supported his or her spouse during his or her career, enjoys financial support after the marriage. Alimony is usually paid for a limited amount of time to allow a person time to find work or to receive proper training.
Same-sex alimony should work no differently than alimony in a heterosexual couple. However, because same-sex marriage was not legal for many years, some same-sex couples might want to show how they supported the marriage before marriage became legal. This poses unique challenges when alimony is being considered. Same-sex couples should be entitled to enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples. This extends to alimony. If you are getting divorced in Birmingham, Alabama and have questions about alimony, contact the Zwiebel Law Firm in Birmingham, Alabama today.
Protect Your Rights During Your Same-Sex Divorce in Alabama
In addition to the same-sex challenges presented in a divorce, other aspects of the divorce process still apply. This includes adoption, custody, parenting agreements, alimony, child support, property disposition, and other legal issues. The Zwiebel Law Firm are same-sex divorce lawyers who will take the time to review your case and help you and your ex divide property, debts, and make child custody decisions. Divorce is an emotional and legal decision. Having a divorce lawyer on your side as you navigate the unique legal challenges can help you get the best possible outcome for your case.
If you want to learn more about Alabama same-sex divorce, contact us online or by phone at 205-623-1001.