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Home » Spokane LGBT Divorce Lawyer
Same-sex marriage is now recognized in all states. However, having a marriage recognized by the courts does not mean the couple is destined to live in marital bliss for the rest of their lives. Just as with heterosexual marriages, same-sex marriages in Spokane, WA, may not succeed.
Unfortunately, same-sex divorces can be complicated and challenging to resolve. LGBTQ+ spouses may find it difficult to obtain equal rights and protections under the law because of the lack of precedent in these proceedings.
Therefore, if you are contemplating an LGBT divorce in Spokane, Washington, you need a Spokane LGBT divorce attorney with experience handling LGBT divorce cases. At Twyford Law Office, our legal team has the resources, knowledge, and experience to help you navigate the process of obtaining a same-sex divorce. We have more than 33 years of combined experience.
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Many LGBT divorces mirror opposite-sex divorce cases. However, issues might come up that are unique to LGBT divorce proceedings. You need an attorney with extensive experience handling complex divorce cases who deeply understands the unique aspects of an LGBT divorce.
With decades of relevant experience, our divorce lawyers are equipped to navigate the complex issues related to same-sex divorces. Our lawyers handle all matters pertaining to LGBT divorce, including child custody, property division, child support, and alimony. At Twyford Law Office, our Spokane LGBT divorce lawyers provide personalized legal advice for your situation.
When you hire our top-rated divorce lawyers in Spokane, WA, you can trust we will handle all aspects of your divorce case by:
Many LGBT divorces are settled through mediation. Our Spokane divorce attorneys are skilled and resourceful negotiators. They are also fierce, seasoned litigators who do not hesitate to take cases to court when it is in our client’s best interests.
Contact Twyford Law Office to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced LGBT divorce lawyer in Spokane, WA.
Washington began recognizing same-sex marriages in 2012. There is no legal difference between same-sex and opposite-sex marriage. Therefore, the only way to end a same-sex marriage is by divorce proceedings through the family court.
At Twyford Law Office, we handle all types of LGBT family law matters, including but not limited to:
Our Spokane divorce lawyers are keenly aware of the unique issues facing LGBT spouses when they file for divorce. We have extensive experience in all areas related to divorce cases. Therefore, we are prepared to handle any issues that arise in your case.
The grounds for an LGBT divorce in Washington are the same as the grounds for all other divorces. Because Washington is a no-fault divorce state, there is only one ground for divorce – the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Spouses do not need to agree on the reasons for the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. In most cases, all a spouse needs to state is that there are irreconcilable differences. The other spouse does not need to agree for the court to grant a divorce.
Most property acquired during the marriage is considered marital assets. Some exceptions exist for inheritances, gifts, and personal injury settlements.
Washington is a community property state. Therefore, each spouse has a 50% interest in marital property. Spouses can agree on how to divide marital assets.
However, if the spouses disagree on terms of property division, the court decides what is fair and equitable.
Factors a judge considers when deciding property division disputes in LGBT divorces include:
Typically, fault is not a factor judges consider for property division. However, suppose your spouse intentionally acted in a manner that resulted in the destruction or waste of marital assets. In that case, the judge may consider it a factor when dividing marital assets.
A problem with property division in some LGBT divorce cases arises when categorizing property. A couple may have been together for many years before same-sex marriage became legal. Therefore, they may have accumulated assets as a couple before marriage.
However, property owned before marriage is characterized as separate property unless it is transitioned into marital assets. Separate property is not subject to Washington property division laws. Sometimes, issues arise when a couple disputes whether property remained separate or became marital assets when they married.
Issues related to child custody can be complicated in an LGBT divorce case, especially when one spouse is not the legal or biological parent of the child. However, the Washington Uniform Parentage Act provides some rights and responsibilities to parents. These provisions apply to opposite-sex and same-sex couples.
The law presumes that a child born during a marriage or a state-registered domestic partnership is the child of both parents. Additionally, the law provides that a person is presumed to be a child’s parent if the person lived in the same household as the child for the first two years of the child’s life and held themselves out to be the child’s parent.
These presumptions are rebuttable so that someone can challenge the presumption in court. If you are not the biological or adoptive parent of your child, you should consult with our Spokane LGBT divorce lawyers as soon as possible. We will help you fight to protect your parental rights, including asserting your rights as a de facto parent under RCW 26.26A.440.
After the court recognizes both parties as the child’s parents, the court encourages the parents to work together to develop a parenting plan. The parenting plan defines each parent’s role in their child’s upbringing. It also defines the custodial parent and the visitation schedule.
If parents cannot agree on custody terms, the court decides for them. Custody decisions are based on what is in the child’s best interest. The court seeks a parenting arrangement that maintains a child’s stability, health, growth, and physical care.
The court also orders child support. Typically, child support is paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent. The custodial parent is the parent the child resides with most of the time.
Washington uses standard child support guidelines to calculate child support obligations for each parent. However, factors can result in deviations from the guidelines. A Spokane child support lawyer can help you ensure you receive or pay a fair amount of the child support obligation.
Alimony or spousal support is financial support paid by one spouse to the other spouse during and/or after a divorce proceeding. Either spouse can ask the court to grant alimony regardless of their gender. The standards for deciding alimony are the same in LGBT divorces as they are in heterosexual divorces.
There are no uniform criteria for determining alimony. Judges consider several factors when deciding whether to grant spousal support and, if so, the amount and duration of the alimony payments.
Factors judges consider when deciding alimony cases include:
In an LGBT divorce, an issue that sometimes arises is the length of the marriage. Again, same-sex marriage was not recognized in Washington until 2012. However, a couple may have lived together as spouses long before the courts recognized their marriage.
Therefore, questions arise about the duration of the marriage, which is a significant factor in alimony cases. Judges are less likely to grant alimony when the couple has been married for a short time. Talk with our Spokane spousal support lawyer to discuss your legal options.
We understand that dissolving a marriage in Spokane, WA, is emotionally and financially challenging. Our lawyers work with you to achieve the best option for your future. Call Twyford Law Office today to schedule your free case review with a Spokane LGBT divorce attorney.