It doesn’t matter if you are gay, straight, lesbian or transsexual. If you are married, then you have entered a legally binding contract based on your love of another person, so when that contract comes to an end, there will be intense emotional challenges to overcome. More importantly in some respects, there will also be legal hurdles and challenges to resolve. That said, LGBT couples do face some specific legal challenges that straight couples will never know.
For example, in a lesbian marriage, does the biological mother of a child have more claim to custody than a non-biological mother? The fact is, under the law, if both parents have custody of the child during marriage, then both will be treated as having equal parental rights — regardless of the genetic relationship between the parent and the child. However, this does not mean that your parental rights will be free of challenges.
In order to overcome legal challenges in child custody and asset division matters, there is specific information that you will want to gather. If possible it is best to gather and evaluate this information before you initiate your divorce. These documents include: net worth documentation that shows all of your assets and liabilities; complete financial statements for your business or businesses; information about your income and usual expenses; and information about your parenting history, including your general role in your household, how much time you spent with your children, what you did with them and how you cared for them.
At Groshek Law PA, PA, we represent Minnesota spouses in their divorce proceedings, and have a great deal of experience representing LGBT spouses in particular. If you are considering divorce, or are currently in the midst of divorce proceedings, we are available to speak with you about your case and advise you of your legal rights and options.