Charleston Same Sex Divorce Lawyer
High-Quality and Personalized Legal Counsel for Your Same-Sex Divorce Matters
At Shaw Law Firm, LLC, we are personally committed to helping same-sex couples through the legal system, and you can count on us to walk you through every step of your Charleston divorce. From filing for divorce to settling disputes like child custody and alimony, our firm can advocate for your and your child’s best interests. We believe everyone deserves quality legal representation, and we will take a personalized approach to your case so we can appropriately address your unique needs as a spouse and a parent.
Filing for Divorce
As of a federal court order in 2014, South Carolina legally recognizes same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples have every right to marry in the state, and they consequently have the legal right to divorce. The divorce process for LGBTQ+ couples follows the same rules as for heterosexual couples, including the laws governing custody, alimony, and property division disputes.
With the above in mind, all couples in South Carolina can file for divorce based on one of 5 grounds:
- habitual drunkenness;
- physical cruelty;
- no-fault (spouses lived separate and apart for at least 1 year).
Divorce can be either uncontested, where both spouses mutually agree to separate, or contested, where one spouse requests a divorce. In the latter case, the divorce process commences when the petitioning spouse files a Summons and Complaint, in which you will state your wish to separate from your partner and propose how you would like to resolve your marital disputes. For instance, you might list how you want certain property and assets to be divided and, if you have minor children together, how you wish to address child custody and support. Our firm can take a look at your marital situation and assets to help you get started on your same-sex divorce on the right foot.
Child Custody Arrangements
Child custody laws may vary slightly for same-sex couples, as the rights to custody of the children will depend on whether one or both of the spouses are “legal” parents. That is, if one of the partners did not legally adopt the other’s biological child, or if only one of the partners legally adopted their child, the spouse who is not a legal parent may have some difficulty asserting their rights to custody. However, note that such a parent will likely not be obligated to provide financial child support.
If both spouses are legal parents of the child, the custody process will proceed in the same way as for heterosexual couples. That is, the parents may either negotiate the arrangement on their own and submit a proposal to the court for approval or go to trial for the judge to make a decision based on the child’s best interests.