Legal Rights for LGBTQIA Divorce in North Carolina
Same-sex marriage has been legal in all 50 states since 2015, which means that LGBTQIA divorce is a legal right as well. The legalization of same-sex marriage protects LGBTQIA families by giving them the same legal rights and divorce processes, including child custody and support, division of marital assets and spousal support.
In order to file for divorce in North Carolina, you must have resided in the state for at least 6 months. It’s important to be aware that LGBTQIA divorce may not be as simple as heteronormative divorces, specifically when it comes to recognizing the marriage before the federal law.
Complications could arise when calculating spousal support and division of marital assets, resulting in an unfair asset settlement as the court can disregard anything before 2015. Oftentimes, it is up to the discretion of the judge when regarding equitable asset division during an LGBTQIA divorce.
Likewise, challenges in LGBTQIA divorce have known to occur when seeking custody and visitation rights for children of non-legal parents. Oftentimes, the court will not grant custody and visitation rights to the non-biological, non-adopting parent. Although it is illegal to jointly adopt for unmarried couples if both spouses have not completed an adoption application for the child after marriage, the court may favor the legal parent, even if the second spouse has lived with and acted as a parent for the child.
We’re here to offer confidential and compassionate support for you during this challenging time. If you have any questions about how the process and how to prepare, give us a call at the Law Office of Janice V. Coulter. We have over 35 years of experience helping LGBTQIA families with gay and lesbian family law.