Domestic Partnership – Same-Sex Divorce Attorneys in Santa Monica, California

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Although California was ahead of the national curve when it came to the legality of same-sex marriages, the Supreme Court ruling in 2015, deeming that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples, positively changed lives across the country. Since that critical ruling, the basics of the divorce process are essentially the same for all.

Same-Sex Divorce

However, there are a few unique divorce challenges same-sex couples may face that heterosexual couples may not. This is also true for domestic partners who are unmarried but have combined their lives to include shared property and children.

At Fernandez & Karney, our law firm founders and managing partners Steven Fernandez and Mark Karney are Certified Family Law Specialists by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization. Our attorneys have over 120 years of combined experience to provide you with the quality legal representation you want and deserve.

Our experienced Santa Monica family law attorneys will listen and offer unique guidance for your family and circumstances during a confidential consultation today. We are a full-service family law firm that can assist you with any family law matter, regardless of its complexity.

Same-Sex Divorces are Unique to Their Family Dynamics, Not The Parties’ Genders

At Fernandez & Karney, our Los Angeles County divorce attorneys have extensive knowledge in

California’s domestic partnership and same-sex divorce laws, and are proficient in all of California’s family law statutes regarding same-sex issues.

We are dedicated to compassionate client advocacy regardless of gender, sexual identity, or sexual orientation, and skillfully represent domestic partners and same-sex spouses in the following legal matters:

  • Divorce
  • Property Division.
  • Spousal Support.
  • Child Custody and Visitation.
  • Child Support.
  • Paternity or Parentage.
  • Domestic Violence/Restraining Orders.
  • Move Aways and Relocation.
  • Order Enforcement.
  • Judgment Modification.

These cases must be assessed based on their unique details and how they will impact the lives of everyone involved in the short and long term. Our skilled Santa Monica domestic partnership and same-sex divorce attorneys can help protect your rights and best interests from the start of your legal journey. Contact us today to learn more about our customized legal strategies that produce results.

What are the Most Common Challenges Facing Domestic Partners & Same-Sex Spouses When Ending Their Relationships?

California is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning all couples can file for divorce without assigning blame or proving wrongdoing by either spouse. The most common grounds for divorce are “irreconcilable differences,” meaning the marriage has irreparable breakdowns.

However, there are two common legal issues facing domestic partners who decide to end their relationships and for same-sex spouses to overcome during divorce discussions: Property division and child custody for non-biological parents.

Before everyone could marry legally, no matter their sexual orientation, many same-sex couples lived as domestic partners. Others decided not to get married, which is also their right. Married couples aren’t the only ones in committed same-sex relationships—nor do they have to say “I do” to share children.

Long-term committed couples who are domestic partners often share many assets and fully contribute financially to each other and their relationships, including:

  • Bank accounts.
  • Credit cards.
  • Purchased property.
  • Retirement savings.
  • Stock portfolios.

Property division can become trickier for those who were never married, as opposed to the clear community property presumption that applies to married same-sex couples. Dividing your assets and debts can be accomplished with the help of a skilled domestic partnership lawyer in Santa Monica. At Fernandez and Karney, our experienced attorneys have been handling these cases for decades and are proud to help domestic partners throughout California navigate their legal challenges during a separation.

Other family dynamics are unique to same-sex relationships, too. For example, suppose you and your spouse were in an unwed domestic partnership for ten years and purchased a home, vehicle, or other property before getting married during your eleventh year. This distinction can make categorizing some assets as community or separate property challenging without an attorney.

When spouses divorce, the standard approach to property division solutions begins by assessing the shared marital property, which is anything obtained during the marriage.

Partnering with an experienced Santa Monica divorce attorney will help you determine how our property division laws apply to the assets and debts you obtained during your time together.

At Fernandez & Karney, our experienced family law attorneys in Santa Monica partner with our clients to understand their complete family dynamics and how a separation or divorce will impact each aspect of their lives to customize their legal strategy to produce the best outcome for their unique legal needs so they can move forward with confidence. Contact us today to learn more.

How Do Domestic Partnerships & Same-Sex Divorce Impact Child Custody in California

When domestic partners and same-sex couples decide to expand their families, their main options for having children include adoption, surrogacy, and Assisted Reproductive Technologies. When the couple divorces, the details of their biological parenting connection may be questioned by the court when determining child custody.

That may include establishing:

  • Which parent is the primary caregiver.
  • The parenting skills of each parent.
  • The relationship level between the child with their siblings and outside family members.
  • Each parent’s potential home environment.
  • Each parent’s potential work environment.
  • The child’s mental and physical health, emotional and mental stability.
  • The parents’ psychological and physical health, emotional and mental stability.
  • Family history, if any, of domestic violence.

Our Santa Monica child custody attorneys will review the facts of your case, including whether the non-biological parent legally adopted the child(ren) or if both parents are listed on a child’s birth certificate. These details will make a difference when pursuing your rights as a parent.

We Also Focus on the Following Areas in Santa Monica:

Contact Our Experienced Domestic Partnership and Same-Sex Divorce Attorneys for Help Today

At Fernandez & Karney, our domestic partnership and same-sex divorce lawyers in Santa Monica will provide the support, resources, and experience necessary to address these unique challenges. We will help you face your separation or divorce with real-time solutions that allow you to move forward confidently. Contact us today to learn more.