Bergen County LGBT Divorce Lawyer
Have you and your same-sex spouse decided to get a divorce? Divorce is complicated – and same-sex relationships add a layer of complexity. In order to make sure that you get the best results for you and your family, it’s important to have an experienced Bergen County LGBT divorce lawyer by your side.
At Arons & Solomon, our attorneys have 150+ years of experience navigating the most intricate and nuanced divorce disputes in Bergen County, NJ. And, we’ve made it a priority to stay on top of changes in the laws that are likely to affect our clients. We are here to put the full extent of our legal knowledge to work for your benefit.
How Arons & Solomon Can Help You Navigate Your LGBT Divorce
At Arons & Solomon, our Bergen County divorce attorneys adjust to meet the needs of our clients.
LGBT divorce and dissolution cases require an understanding of the unique issues that surround the relationship.
We can help navigate the nuances of LGBT divorce and dissolution cases.
When our clients wish to settle their cases quickly, amicably, and out of court, we work with other collaborative divorce partners to smooth all the details.
In more contentious cases, we do whatever it takes to protect our clients’ rights, including:
- Referring clients to private investigators when needed
- Demanding full financial disclosure from the other party
- Guiding clients through custody evaluations
- Working with financial experts to accurately account for income and property
We take every necessary step to get the best achievable results for our clients in every case. Call our law firm to get in touch with our compassionate and skilled legal team today to learn more.
Overview of LGBTQ Divorce
In New Jersey, divorce can be complicated for LGBT couples. There is no one-size-fits-all LGBT divorce lawyer. Under New Jersey law, the same process is used for divorce and dissolution of civil unions or domestic partnerships.
It is important to find a lawyer who knows whether you need a divorce or a dissolution.
LGBT divorce and dissolution in New Jersey is a dynamic practice area. It has changed over time and continues to change. At Arons & Solomon, we are mindful of the changes in the law and quickly adjust our legal strategy to meet our client’s needs.
Some same-sex couples will fall under New Jersey’s Domestic Partnership Act. Different laws may apply to couples married after the same-sex marriage case decided by the United States Supreme Court in 2015, Obergefell v. Hodges. An experienced family lawyer can quickly determine whether a divorce or dissolution is needed.
Whether a married couple needs a divorce or partners need to dissolve a domestic partnership or civil union, we can help. Arons & Solomon attorneys are proud to serve LGBT couples. Contact us today for help.
Arons & Solomon handles all LGBT family law case types, including:
- Dissolution of domestic partnerships and civil unions
- LGBT Domestic Violence
- LGBT Prenuptial Agreements
- Custody rights cases involving LGBT parents, including parenting time and relocation
Custody rights can be complicated when it comes to LGBT parent adoption or medically-assisted reproduction. We have experience with the legal issues particular to LGBT couples. We know the intricacies of the law as it applies to LGBT couples.
Even if you believe your divorce or dissolution will be low-conflict, you may still need a lawyer. In many cases, what begins as an amicable separation can become tense. We can help get you back on track to a collaborative divorce or dissolution.
Issues Related to an LGBT Divorce Dispute in Bergen County
All couples deal with the same issues when they get a divorce or dissolution. Arons & Solomon can help with:
- Dividing property (including pets) and debts,
- Alimony or partner support
- Child custody and visitation
- Child support
When you are ending a marriage, civil union, or domestic partnership, both parties have a lot at stake emotionally and financially. We are experienced family law attorneys and at Arons & Solomon, we value and respect all families.
To file to dissolve a civil union in New Jersey, at least one partner must have been a resident of New Jersey for at least one year and must be a current resident of New Jersey.
Grounds for LGBTQ Divorce or Dissolution in New Jersey
The grounds for dissolution of a domestic partnership are the same that support a divorce. In New Jersey, a marriage or domestic partnership can be terminated based fault or no-fault grounds. How long it takes to get a divorce or dissolution depends on the grounds for the divorce.
No-fault divorce or dissolution is when neither spouse blames the other for the breakdown of the relationship. Instead, the law recognizes that “irreconcilable differences” cause the breakdown of the relationship. A no-fault divorce requires parties to live separately for a waiting period before getting a divorce.
New Jersey also recognizes several fault-based divorce grounds. The fault-based grounds for divorce include:
- Domestic Violence
- Extreme Cruelty
- Certain events of institutionalization or imprisonment
Whether you are seeking a no-fault divorce or a fault-based one, Arons & Solomon’s experienced LGBT divorce lawyers can guide you through the process.
Domestic Violence and LGBT Divorce
When clients are dealing with domestic violence, we offer both practical advice to safeguard the privacy and legal guidance to protect their rights.
We can help you protect your children from an abusive parent.
We advocate for for survivors of domestic violence. We won’t let you be a victim.
Domestic violence involves power dynamics between partners. The abusive spouse exercises power through their abuse. Abusers sometimes seek to continue the same power dynamics in legal proceedings. Experienced attorneys know how to keep litigation on track.
New Jersey law affords domestic violence protection, including protective orders, for LGBT partners. There are two kinds of protective orders: temporary and final.
Both temporary and final protective orders have the same purpose. The difference between them is the length of time they remain in effect. Usually, a protective order orders the defendant:
- not to contact the protected person in any way, whether voice or text
- to maintain a minimum distance between themself and the protected person,
- not to go near the protected person’s home, school, or place of work
When partners live together, the defendant has to leave the home while the protective order is in effect. A defendant has to leave even if they own the home or their name is on the lease.
Under New Jersey law, an abuser can be liable for losses directly related to domestic violence. You may have a personal injury claim against your abuser. We will preserve all evidence related to the domestic violence in your divorce or dissolution case.
Because domestic violence laws provide victims with extraordinary remedies, like the use of the family home, occasionally, our clients face false accusations of domestic violence. If you are being falsely and unfairly accused of domestic violence, we can help.
Dividing Property and Debts in LGBTQ Divorce and Dissolution
Property purchased jointly during a marriage, domestic partnership, or civil union is joint or marital property. New Jersey divides property based on the principle of equitable distribution. Under equitable distribution, the property is divided fairly, but not necessarily equally.
Personal property, like furniture, jewlery, or tools, that a spouse or partner owns before they are married or form a civil union is ordinarily distributed to it’s original owner. Real property, like homes or land, might be divided between both partners if it was paid for using joint funds.
Responsibility for debt between domestic partners depends on when the debt was incurred and in whose name. A domestic partner is not responsible for debt:
- Incurred by the other party before the domestic partnership or
- Incurred by the other party in their own name during the domestic partnership.
The party in whose name the debt is incurred is separately responsible for the debt.
Both partners are responsible for debts jointly held in both partners’ names.
Alimony or Partner Support in LGBT Divorce Cases
Under New Jersey law, the rules of alimony apply to both spouses, regardless of sex or gender. Alimony is money paid by one spouse to the other to help that spouse live like they did during the marriage.
For marriages of less than 20 years, alimony can have a temporary duration. Alimony can end upon the occurrence of a certain event or after a certain time. If the event does not occur or if financial circumstances change, either partner can request a change in alimony.
Child Custody and Visitation
Custody rights for LGBT couples depend on the unique circumstances of the family.
At Arons & Solomon, we recognize that families come together in a variety of ways.
LGBT couples may find themselves in one of several common situations:
- Exercising physical custody of children from previous marriages or relationships, without the benefit of formal step-parent adoption
- Exercising custody of a child after a formal step-parent adoption, in which the biological parent’s partner adopts the child
- Sharing custody of a child adopted by both partners together
- Sharing custody of a child through assisted reproduction
No matter the situation, our experienced Bergen County LGBT divorce lawyers have it covered.
At Arons & Solomon, we use negotiation skills when parents wish to settle disputes outside of court. If parents can agree on a custody schedule, our attorneys can help develop a Parenting Plan that meets the needs of the children and the parties.
When parents cannot reach an agreement, courts make the decision. Under New Jersey law, a child can only have two legal parents. However, in New Jersey, all custody decisions are based on the best interest of the child.
When LGBT couples exercise custody of one partner’s child from a previous relationship, the step-parent partner steps in. But custody rights can be influenced by the parents’ marital status at the time the child was born.
Unmarried custody rights in New Jersey favor mothers. Unmarried mothers benefit from the established parental relationship. If an LGBT couple parents a child born to an unmarried mother, only the biological parent has formal custody rights unless a step-parent adoption is completed.
If a partner files for divorce before a stepparent adoption is complete, the court can allow custody if the court finds it is in the best interest of the child. If you have completed a step-parent adoption, we can help you get the full custody you deserve.
In New Jersey, when an LGBT couple adopts a child together, both parents have the same rights, unless one is deemed unfit. If parental fitness is an issue, your case may involve a court-ordered custody evaluation. We enjoy sharing custody evaluation tips with our clients that incorporate what we have learned over years of representing our clients with custody disputes.
New Jersey recognizes the rights of parents to use assisted reproduction, like sperm donation, egg donation, and embryo donation. When both partners in a couple agree to use assisted reproduction to have a child, one partner is the biological parent. The non-biological parent must establish the parental rights that automatically benefit the biological parent.
The obligation to pay child support arises when the parental relationship is legally established. Adoption is one common way LGBT couples legally establish a parental relationship with a child.
LGBT Divorce Lawyers Available Throughout Bergen County, New Jersey
While our law firm’s offices are located in Hackensack and Madison, our representation isn’t limited to clients in those towns. Arons & Solomon regularly represents clients in:
- Franklin Lakes
- Upper Saddle River
- Old Tappan
- Saddle River
To get started, or to learn more about how we might be able to help you navigate the divorce process, give us a call. Your first consultation is free.
Call a Bergen County LGBT Divorce Lawyer For a Free Consultation
We understand that LGBT families have unique family law issues. Your divorce will likely be more complicated than it would be for a heterosexual couple. We handle all cases with professionalism and respect. Contact Arons & Solomon when you need a Bergen County LGBT lawyer.