Protecting Your Rights & Advocating For Your Interests
Family law issues can be complex and overwhelming under any circumstances, but certain family-related challenges are unique to those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community.
At Halligan LLC, we understand that all family law issues are unique, and LGBTQ families often have additional layers of complexity to work through, especially when children are involved. That’s why we’re here to guide you through this challenging time to the best possible solution for your family. To learn more, call us at (720) 608-2361 or contact us online to discuss the details of your situation with a compassionate attorney.
LGBTQ marriage has been legal in all 50 states since the 2015 Obergefell v Hodges ruling; therefore, LGBTQ couples have the same rights and responsibilities in a divorce or legal separation.
Despite this fact, some LGBTQ couples may be disadvantaged; for example, many LGBTQ couples have “legally” married later in life than heterosexual couples and frequently had a long-term relationship before they got “legally” married to their partner. This means LGBTQ couples frequently live together and share substantial assets before officially tying the knot, which can make it all the more difficult to divide assets and responsibilities if the marriage ever dissolves.
LGBTQ Marital Agreements
Discussing a pre-nuptial (“premarital”) or post-nuptial (“marital”) agreement with your partner can be difficult. When couples intend to marry, it’s never with the expectation that the marriage will come to an end. However, it’s always best to plan ahead no matter what, which typically means considering these types of agreements.
A pre-nuptial or “premarital” agreement, commonly known as a “prenup,” is a special legal contract made before marriage. Pre-nuptial agreements outline the spouse’s individual assets and/or liabilities and marital property both during a marriage and after marriage, and how this property will be treated in the event of a divorce or legal separation.
A post-nuptial or “marital” agreement is a similar contract that is established after a couple has already married.
Premarital and marital agreements are particularly important for many LGBTQ marriages because, in the event of a divorce, they can reduce the potential friction that comes with untangling years’ or even decades’ worth of assets. The LGBTQ family law attorneys of Halligan LLC can help you establish an agreement that works best for your situation, whether you are considering marriage or are already married.
LGBTQ Divorce and Separation
At Halligan LLC, we can help LGBTQ couples at any stage of the divorce process with issues such as:
When real estate property and other assets are divided in a divorce case, family courts typically look at when the property or assets were acquired in determining who will receive what. Assets owned by an individual (“separate property”) before the marriage usually stay with the individual post-divorce, except to the extent such assets have increased in value during the marriage. Marital property, which includes any assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage (with a few exceptions), is equitably divided between each spouse.
For LGBTQ spouses, the process of deciding which assets are separate property and which are marital property can be significantly more difficult than it is for heterosexual couples. This is because the duration of an LGBTQ marriage may be more difficult to determine if the couple was married for all intents and purposes before 2015. This can also get complicated when an LGBTQ couple is living together as a married couple but has not obtained a marriage license/certificate.
Parental Responsibilities: Parenting Time and Decision Making
When divorcing or separating couples have children together, the best interests of those children should be the number one priority. Child custody, known as “parental responsibilities” under Colorado law, for the children of the marriage will be determined in a divorce or legal separation case.
“Maintenance” is the term used under Colorado law in place of the more commonly recognized term “alimony.” When courts determine that maintenance is necessary in a divorce case, one partner is required to provide financial support to the other.
The laws regarding maintenance laws apply to all spouses going through a divorce or legal separation; however, there are still special spousal maintenance considerations for LGBTQ divorces that may not frequently apply to heterosexual divorces. If the duration of an LGBTQ marriage is unclear, it tends to be that much more difficult to determine whether and how much spousal maintenance may be fair during divorce proceedings.
At Halligan LLC, we can assist you with these issues during your divorce or separation proceedings. Our attorneys can work to outline the duration and timeline of your marriage, determine whether financial support is warranted, and allocate parental responsibilities that work best for your children.
Contact a Denver LGBTQ Family Lawyer Today
To find out more about how Halligan LLC can help you work through your LGBTQ family law issues, call us at (720) 608-2361 or contact us online to get started with your initial case review.