Same Sex Divorce Tenacious Advocacy, Because Each Family Matters

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:

  • adultery;
  • habitual drunkenness;
  • physical cruelty;
  • abandonment;
  • 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.

Our Client Endorsements

  • “Attorney Shaw is very compassionate. She and her staff helped me through a very difficult time. They were quick to respond to questions and advice was honest and always steered me in the right ...”

    - Divorce Client
  • “Ms. Shaw helped me with a divorce action that I filed. Her office scheduled the appointment quickly and the fee was very reasonable. In the short period of time we met, Ms. Shaw gave me some excellent ...”

    - Divorce Client
  • “This review is to acknowledge the professional and legal expertise of Attorney Heather Shaw and paralegal Karen Berry of the Shaw Law Firm, LLC. My wife and I retained Heather and her firm to ...”

    - Vinnie
  • “Ms. Shaw was very professional but at the same time, she was personable! I felt that I could trust her from the moment I sat in her office. My divorce was extremely emotional and she was very ...”

    - Missy
  • “A genuinely good person and genius attorney. I got everything I wanted and more at an affordable cost. Her assistant Karen kept me informed and was very nice to me during the entire process. Such a ...”

    - Child Custody Client

Why Clients Choose Us

  • Case Consultation

    We offer clients an informative consultation to share the details of their situation.

  • Tenacious Advocacy

    We offer the advocacy our clients need to protect themselves and their family.

  • Proven Results

    We help our clients set realistic goals and stand by their side every step of the way.

  • Honest Counsel

    The strategic and unwavering representation we provide is hard to find elsewhere.