In the past many couples who couldn’t marry in their home state went somewhere else to legalize their relationship, which looked like an attractive option. Some couples took advantage of that option. They registered as civil union partners in Colorado while visiting, and then, after returning home to Oregon, registered as domestic partners with their city government. Maybe they even flew out to California and got married there. And now they want to END their relationship. If this describes you, you’re probably wondering what to do.

First, it’s important that you do something. Once you’ve decided to break up, remaining legally registered as a partner, let alone married, means you continue to be financially and legally bound to your partner. You now come under the same divorce laws that opposite-sex couples have been for years.

same-sex-divorceSame sex divorce points to consider:

  • Alimony
  • Child Support
  • Equitable distribution of property acquired during marriage
  • Businesses being valued and split between couples
  • High asset divorce
  • Parenting plans
  • Custody and visitation
  • Relocation of children

All the same issues those opposite-sex couples have enjoyed for many years.

Instead, most states require you to go through the same divorce process that opposite-sex couple’s use, involving the local family court. If you have more than one state registration, you should probably try to file for termination of the one you entered into first, but make sure that you ask the court to end the subsequent partnerships at the same time. Another option is to take legal steps to end the relationship that’s legally the strongest — in other words, if you are both married and registered as domestic partners, terminate the marriage and try to get the court to end the domestic partnership at the same time, as part of the same proceeding. You may want to talk to attorney Garrick N Fox about the best way to go about ending your legal relationship.

You might think you can just return to the state(s) where you registered and complete the legal process there — but most states have residency requirements for divorce, some as long as a year. While these couples share the emotional hardship of divorce with their opposite sex counterparts, there is added legal complexity in same-sex divorces. This is a new and evolving area of family law, and the Law Office of Garrick N Fox is one of very few Florida law firms skilled in handling these cases and the unique circumstances that they present.