Same-Sex Divorce Lawyer in Ventura, California
In 2015, the United States significantly changed its approach to same-sex unions. California has also passed laws supportive of LGBTQ+ relationships. At Land Legal Group, we offer experience in navigating this relatively new body of law. Unfortunately, some marriages do not last and our experienced divorce attorneys provide assistance navigating the end of same-sex marriages.
An Overview of Same-Sex Rights in California
California does not recognize a difference between same-sex and opposite-sex marriages. As a result, any couple, despite each person’s sexual or gender orientation in California, can currently obtain a marriage license. This is the result of years of striving towards such results as well as society learning how to embrace marriage equality among sexual orientations.
At the beginning of the century, same-sex couples began to request marriage licenses in California cities including San Francisco. The California legislature permitted same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses in Los Angeles as well as San Francisco. Beginning in January 2000, California courts also began permitting same-sex couples in the state to enter into domestic partnerships. This lets couples in domestic partnerships obtain certain rights including those involving hospital visitations and dependent health insurance. During this period of advancement for same-sex couples, some setbacks occurred too. Also in 2000, California residents voted in support of Proposition 22, a measure that declared marriage should remain available to only opposite-sex couples.
In 2005, California’s Domestic Partners Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003 went into effect. This act preserved marriage as the union between opposite-sex couples even though it attempted to provide couples who registered domestic partnerships with the state with state-based rights which include things like health care rights, estate planning rights, government benefits, and tax benefits among other advantages. Setbacks continued to occur, however. Several years later, in October 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed a same-sex measure alleging that approving the bill would reverse previous measures declaring that marriage could only be between a man and a woman.
In a 2008 decision, In Re Marriage Cases, a California court held that the right to marry is fundamental and extends to opposite-sex couples as well as to all couples and prohibits bans on same-sex marriage. The court’s decision became effective in 2008 when the court required state agencies to follow its terms. Later, in November 2008, however, a voter initiative called Prop 8 revised the California constitution to prohibit same-sex couples from marrying. In a later ruling, the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8 but found that same-sex marriages entered between June 19 and November 4, 2008 were constitutional.
Then in 2015, a significant Supreme Court decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, held that the Constitution guarantees the right to same-sex marriage. Following the Obergefell decision, same-sex spouses have the rights as well as benefits as opposite-sex couples when it comes to marriage. Today, same-sex couples have the choice of entering into either domestic partnerships or marriages. At Land Legal Group, we can help you determine what option is best for you and your loved ones. Our attorneys can also advise you about the difference between these two arrangements, and if necessary can help you with the dissolution of either.
Ending a Domestic Partnership in Ventura
Domestic partnerships in California are legally recognized unions. When these partnerships end, the relationship must be legally dissolved. When it comes to child custody, property division, child support, and alimony, these issues are governed by the same laws as divorces in California. In these situations, obtaining the assistance of a skilled LGBTQ+ California family law attorney can be critical to make sure that your rights are upheld.
Additionally, if you are part of a domestic partnership as well as a same-sex marriage, both of these legal arrangements must be dissolved. At Land Legal Group we will do everything possible to make sure that you keep up to date on the evolving laws as well as their associated complexities. We will also do everything possible to make sure that your dissolution is fair and equitable.
The California Family Code has jurisdiction over any domestic partnerships entered into in the state, despite whether the parties continue living in California. As a result, if you are interested in dissolving a domestic partnership but are no longer a California resident, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced California family lawyer.
At Land Legal Group, we’re prepared to take extra measures to remain up to date with the changing nature of LGBTQ+ law. We also provide legal representation and expertise regarding the changes in LGBTQ+ rights and obligations as the result of either domestic partnerships or same-sex marriages. This is critical in areas involving same-sex unions, and our attorneys will do everything possible to help your loved ones understand these issues as well as how they impact your situation. Our lawyers can also help you appreciate the tax repercussions of ending a domestic partnership. Remember federal tax law does not recognize domestic partnerships, while California state law does.
Ending Same-Sex Marriage in California
In light of current federal and California law, no difference exists between opposite-sex and same-sex marriages in the state. Consequently, same-sex marriages must be entered into similarly to opposite-sex marriage. In both cases, spouses must receive a judgment of dissolution.
Complex issues can also arise during same-sex marriages, particularly if you were in a domestic partnership before you got married. In these situations, you are required to dissolve the domestic partnership as well as the marriage. The requirements placed on both relationships are the same. Additionally, federal obligations do not extend to all aspects of domestic partnerships.
At Land Legal Group, our family law firm in Ventura, CA also focuses on the following practice areas:
- Child Custody
- Prenuptial Agreement
- Grandparents Rights
- Fathers Rights
- Domestic Violence
- Spousal Support
- Children’s Law
- Child Support
- Dependency Law
Contact Our Ventura Same-Sex Divorce Attorneys Today For a Consultation
The expertise of knowledgeable attorneys during the dissolution of same-sex marriages can be invaluable. This holds true whether you are part of same-sex or opposite-sex marriage. At Land Legal Group, we can help you navigate the end of your marriage and will make sure that you understand your rights as well as obligations during this difficult time. Contact our Ventura family lawyer today by calling (805) 696-2160 to schedule a case evaluation.