With the recent Supreme Court case of Obergefell v. Hodges, same-sex marriage has been legalized throughout the United States. This allows same-sex couples all of the rights associated with marriage, including the right to divorce. New Jersey authorized same-sex marriages a few years prior to the Supreme Court decision in 2013. Therefore, since 2013 same-sex marriages have been valid in the state of New Jersey. If a same-sex couple decides that they want to end their marriage, they can do so, same as any other couple.
A New Jersey same-sex divorce lawyer can help you navigate the divorce process and help you understand what rights you may be entitled to. Speak with a qualified divorce attorney, and rest assured that you are in capable hands.No-Fault versus Fault-Based Divorce
There are two general categories of divorce in New Jersey, fault-based divorce or a no-fault divorce. No-fault divorces have become more and more common where couples decide to end their marriage because they have irreconcilable differences.
If a couple does move forward with a fault-based divorce they have to put down a specific reason to end their marriage. A person usually chooses this option when they want a judge to consider the circumstances under which the marriage is ending and how that should impact other issues such as support or custody.
Some of the grounds a person can use for a fault-based divorce are extreme cruelty, adultery, institutionalization for a mental illness, voluntary addiction, imprisonment and habitual drunkenness.New Jersey Divorce Process
In order to proceed with a divorce, the couple must meet the jurisdictional requirements. At least one of the parties must have lived in New Jersey for at least twelve months.Then one person must file a complaint for divorce with the court and choose either a no-fault or fault-based option for the divorce.
Once the complaint has been filed, the other party must be served with the complaint through a private service process or through the sheriff’s department. Alternatively, if a person voluntarily chooses to be served they can sign an Acknowledgement of Service in front of a notary.
After this, the case will head towards discovery and trial. This is when it can get complicated depending on the number of issues involved. If both parties agree to all the issues, do not have many assets or property to divide or do not have children then it is more likely that the divorce can be completed faster.Common Issues in a Same-Sex Divorce
When it comes to marriage, same-sex couples must deal with the same issues as other couples. They will need to figure out how to distribute property. One side may request and need spousal support. If there are children then issues regarding child support or child custody and visitation.
One of the factors used to determine spousal support or property division is the length of the marriage. Therefore, this ends up being one difference that a same-sex couple may face because they were not allowed to marry until recently. However, this is only one factor out of many, so a New Jersey same-sex divorce attorney can help balance this out with other factors that the court can consider.Talking to a New Jersey Same-Sex Divorce Attorney
Your New Jersey same-sex divorce lawyer can present you with several options. If the divorce is amicable and you agree on all the issues involved you may be able to write up an agreement to speed up the divorce process. If, however, you do end up having to go to court and through a trial, your attorney can best represent your wishes and needs.