North Carolina has traditionally been one of the states that outlawed same-sex marriage. Not only did the state legislature pass a law forbidding this practice, but the Constitution of the State specifically ruled out any possibility of legalization. However, recent Supreme Court rulings at the federal level have stated that same-sex couples have the same right to marry as opposite-sex couples.
As a result, there was a rush of many same-sex couples in North Carolina to get married and the State was also forced to recognize same-sex marriage performed in other states.
Unfortunately, same-sex couples can endure many of the same marital problems as opposite-sex couples, some of which may even lead to a divorce.
If you find yourself in this scenario, a Raleigh same-sex divorce lawyer may be able to help by working diligently to protect your assets and rights during divorce proceedings. Whether you and your spouse wish to separate amicably or you anticipate a lengthy battle, an experienced divorce attorney could help you fight for an optimal outcome to your case.
In 2015, the landmark Supreme Court case of Obergefell v. Hodges ruled that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry in every State of the Union.
Not only did this ruling require all states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, it also required these states to recognize all same-sex marriages previously performed in other states. As a result, many same-sex couples living in North Carolina prior to the decision become instantly married in the eyes of the State.
However, this recognition did not come without a potential price. Since all marriages between couples are now recognized by the State, same-sex spouses who wish to separate and end their marriage must endure the divorce process. This involves filing complex paperwork and appearing in court.
In addition, North Carolina recognizes many different kinds of divorces, each with their own requirements and effects. With or without a Raleigh same-sex divorce lawyer’s guidance, it is essential that spouses understand these differences and choose the path that is right for them.
Same-sex couples must follow the same rules concerning divorce as all other couples. As such, the first decision that a person needs to make is which type of divorce they are seeking.
The quickest way to obtain an end to the marriage is to apply for an absolute divorce. According to North Carolina Statutes §50-6, either party may move for an absolute divorce if the parties have lived apart for at least one year and either party has lived in the state for at least six months.
This type of divorce immediately ends the marriage without taking other issues such as alimony or child custody into consideration. Because of this, separate actions must be filed to demand alimony, request child support, and/or determine the custody of children.
Recent decisions by the Supreme Court have made marriages between same-sex couples identical to those between opposite-sex couples in the eyes of the federal government. This means that same-sex spouses share all the same rights but must follow all the same procedures to obtain a divorce.
No matter the exact situation, a Raleigh same-sex divorce lawyer is here to help. They could work to help you understand the law and protect your rights throughout the divorce process. Call today to schedule a case review and start exploring your options.