Dealing with yours, mine and ours in same-sex divorce

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

Since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in 2015, same-sex marriages are constitutionally protected nationwide, including New Jersey. Just like many heterosexual marriages, many married partners of the same sex will end up seeking a divorce. However, same-sex divorce laws are still evolving, and many gray areas leave divorcing couples seeking answers.

Baby boomers might have been in same-sex relationships for many years before DOMA was declared unconstitutional. Some were in domestic partnerships, converting the status when same-sex marriages became lawful. Challenges arise when such a couple decides to divorce because their accumulation of assets as a couple might have started long before the date of their marriage.

There could be an endless list of issues that were not anticipated until the two spouses decide to go their separate ways. Although same-sex couples of the baby boomer generation are not likely to have young children that raise custody issues, children of all ages could face property division challenges. After being together as a couple for 20 or 30 years but only married for three or four years so-called yours, mine or ours problems will need to be resolved.

A New Jersey family law attorney who has experience in dealing with same-sex divorce issues can help. A lawyer can answer questions and assist with the negotiation process to reach a settlement agreement. For those who recognize the challenges that could arise long before they do arise, legal counsel can help them create a postnuptial agreement to limit the problems in the event of a divorce in the future.

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