3699 Wilshire Blvd. Ste 700, Los Angeles, CA 90010 Mon-Fri 9am-6pm +1-213-387-4508
3699 Wilshire Blvd. Ste 700, Los Angeles, CA 90010 Mon-Fri 9am-6pm +1-213-387-4508

Los Angeles LGBTQ Divorce Lawyer

Certified Family Law Specialist

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Understanding LGBTQ Divorce in California

Charles M. Green, APLC, your Trusted Advisors in LGBTQ Divorce Proceedings

Navigating through the process of divorce can be emotionally challenging and complex, even more so when you’re within the LGBTQ community. At  Charles M. Green, APLC, we understand same-sex couples face unique legal considerations. With over 26 years of dedicated family law experience and a compassionate approach, we are here to guide you through every step of your LGBTQ divorce process in California, ensuring your rights are protected, and your voice is heard in this still-evolving area of California Family Law.


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Our Expertise in LGBTQ Divorce

LGBTQ divorce, much like common California divorce cases, involves the dissolution of marriage, asset division, child custody considerations, and sometimes, spousal support. However, the nuances of same-sex divorces, from legal parentage issues to retirement benefits, demand a specialized understanding of both federal and California state laws. Our team, led by seasoned attorneys well-versed in LGBTQ family law, has successfully navigated numerous clients through the intricacies of their divorce proceedings, advocating for their rights and interests.

Unique Legal Considerations for LGBTQ Divorce

Same-sex couples may encounter specific challenges during divorce, including but not limited to:

  • Asset and Property Division: Understanding the intricacies of how California’s community property law applies to your unique situation.
  • Child Custody and Parentage: Navigating child custody arrangements and ensuring recognition of legal parentage, which can be particularly complex for LGBTQ families.
  • Spousal Support: Assessing eligibility for spousal support, considering the duration of marriage and financial disparities.

Our approach is to offer clear, actionable guidance tailored to your specific circumstances, ensuring we have a fair and equitable solution for you.

Residency Requirements for LGTBQ Divorces

In California, there are specific residency requirements for filing a divorce. At least one spouse must have been a state resident for six months and of the county where the filing is made for three months before filing for divorce. This residency requirement ensures that California courts have jurisdiction over the divorce proceedings. Importantly, these requirements apply to all divorces, including those involving LGBTQ couples.

For same-sex couples who were married in California but now reside in a state that does not recognize their marriage, California still allows for divorce filing, irrespective of current residency. This means that provided the couple is married in California, they can still file for divorce in California, regardless of where they currently live. This provision is particularly beneficial for same-sex couples who have moved to states that do not recognize their marriage.

In addition to marriages, California also recognizes domestic partnerships. California offers a simplified process for couples in domestic partnerships if the partnership is registered in California. Partners living outside California at the time of filing can still dissolve their partnership through California’s court system, even if their current state of residence does not recognize their legal relationship. This provision is essential for same-sex couples seeking to dissolve their ties legally and equitably.

California is a No-fault Divorce State

California is recognized as a “no-fault” state, meaning that individuals seeking a divorce, including those in LGBTQ and same-sex marriages, do not need to prove wrongdoing or fault by the other party to obtain a divorce. This principle simplifies the divorce process for all couples, allowing for the dissolution of marriage based on irreconcilable differences. This framework ensures that the process respects the dignity of all parties involved, including those in same-sex marriages, by not requiring them to air personal grievances or assign blame as part of the legal proceedings.

In the context of LGBTQ divorces in California, the no-fault system is particularly beneficial, as it allows couples to focus on the equitable division of assets, child custody arrangements, and other practical aspects without the added stress of proving fault. This approach aligns with California’s progressive stance on marriage equality, providing a respectful and straightforward path toward resolution. For same-sex couples navigating divorce, understanding California’s no-fault laws can offer reassurance and clarity during what can be an emotionally challenging time.

Domestic Partnerships

In California, domestic partnerships provide a legal recognition similar to marriage for LGBTQ couples, encompassing many of the same rights and obligations, from property division to parental duties. While the dissolution process mirrors divorce, reflecting the state’s no-fault stance, there are nuances, especially in the termination procedure. For example, couples in a domestic partnership might qualify for a simplified termination process if they meet specific criteria, such as a partnership lasting less than five years with no children involved. This streamlined option isn’t available for marriages, highlighting a fundamental difference in how California handles the dissolution of domestic partnerships versus divorces.

Divorce Alternatives for LGTBQ

In California, in addition to the traditional divorce process, which typically requires a six-month waiting period to finalize, couples have alternative legal options for changing or ending their marital status, including annulments and legal separation and seeking summary judgments in some instances.

Annulments provide a legal means to declare a marriage null and void, as if it never legally existed, due to specific reasons like fraud, bigamy, or underage marriage. This option suits those with grounds to argue that their marriage was never valid.

Legal Separation allows couples to live apart and make binding agreements regarding assets, debts, and child custody without officially ending the marriage. It’s an option for those who wish to separate their lives and finances but, for personal or financial reasons, choose not to divorce.

Summary Judgments in the context of divorce are court decisions made without a full trial. They are often used to resolve uncontested divorces where both parties agree on all major issues. This can expedite the process, avoiding the need for lengthy court proceedings.

These alternatives offer different legal pathways for individuals seeking to address their marital situations, providing flexibility to accommodate a variety of personal circumstances and preferences.

FAQ on LGBTQ Divorce in California

Q: What makes LGBTQ divorce unique in California?

A: LGBTQ divorces in California involve the same legal processes as any divorce, such as asset division and child custody. However, they can present unique challenges, like legal parentage and retirement benefits, requiring specialized understanding of both federal and state laws. Charles M. Green, APLC, brings over 26 years of family law experience to navigate these complexities compassionately.

Q: Are there specific residency requirements for filing an LGBTQ divorce in California?

A: Yes, for any divorce in California, including LGBTQ divorces, at least one spouse must have been a resident of the state for six months and of the county for three months before filing. This applies to all couples, ensuring California courts have jurisdiction over the proceedings.

Q: How does California’s no-fault divorce law impact LGBTQ divorces?

A: California’s no-fault divorce law means that no spouse needs to prove the other’s wrongdoing to dissolve a marriage. This simplifies the process, allowing LGBTQ couples to focus on important matters like asset division and child custody without proving fault, aligning with the state’s stance on marriage equality.

Q: What are the alternatives to divorce for LGBTQ couples in California?

A: Beyond divorce, LGBTQ couples have options like annulments, legal separation, and summary judgments. Annulments can declare a marriage never existed due to specific reasons, legal separation allows couples to live apart without ending the marriage, and summary judgments can resolve uncontested divorces efficiently.

Q: How does the dissolution process for domestic partnerships compare to divorce?

A: Domestic partnerships in California offer similar legal rights as marriages but can sometimes be dissolved through a simplified process if certain criteria are met. This is not available for marriages, marking a key difference in handling domestic partnership dissolutions compared to divorces.


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LGTBQ Divorce Attorney Charles M. Green

Looking for an LGBTQ divorce specialist in California? Charles M. Green, a Certified Family Law Specialist, combines unparalleled financial and legal expertise to guide you through your divorce. His unique skill set ensures detailed navigation through the complexities of LGBTQ divorce, offering unmatched support. Choose Charles M. Green for a partner who’s committed to your rights and a future filled with possibilities. Start your journey toward resolution with a trusted advocate by your side.