Same-sex couples used to formalize their relationships through Vermont’s civil union law. By 2009, the state stopped recognizing civil unions and began legalizing same-sex marriages. Then, for both existing same-sex civil unions and new marriages, splitting up works like a heterosexual divorce.
However, suppose you are contemplating to dissolve your civil union or file for divorce. In that case, you must know that while similar procedures with an opposite-sex divorce apply, you might encounter unique complications that necessitate legal counsel.
How can a lawyer help protect your rights?
Regardless of gender identity, divorce can significantly impact your life. Unfortunately, you and your soon-to-be ex must still consider the extra difficulties of divorcing as a same-sex couple, especially with a child involved.
While challenging, your attorney can help uphold your rights in the following areas:
- Child custody: As a parent to your child from a previous relationship, you are the only one sharing a biological connection with the child. Thus, asserting legal or physical custody may be hard to settle. Your legal counsel can aid in reaching a workable parenting plan with the other biological parent to cater to your new family dynamics and the child’s best interests.
- Visitation: The other biological parent may request to spend quality time or maintain regular contact with the child. Your legal advocate can prevent potential contentions from escalating into hostile disputes by working out parenting time arrangements.
These considerations provide a glimpse of the nuances of same-sex divorce laws that can make or break a case. Your lawyer can explain these to you in detail and advise you of possible courses of action to pursue.
Why should you act now?
Since same-sex divorce rules and restrictions are ever-evolving, being proactive allows you to take advantage of current laws. You can also turn to a legal resource to meet the necessary requirements on time. This way, you can secure your rights, your child’s well-being and your shared post-divorce future.