Friday, June 28, 2013

Same Sex Divorce - Top Ten Issues

Now that gay marriage has gotten the green light from the U.S. Supreme Court (and various states) - wags might say its about time the right to suffer was enjoyed by all - its only a matter of time before more and more divorce courts across the country will be asked to address same-sex couple breakups.  The primary governing rules, processes and procedures already in place, and issues to be determined, include those listed below.  Whether you should involve attorneys (versus say mediating without them) depends on the usual issues of what and how much is at stake and how acrimonious are the parties' dealings.

1.         Commencement, timing, venue (where should the case be heard)
2.         mediation (non-binding discussions) v. litigation (hearings, trial, court enforced deadlines)

3.         marital v. separate property.  Generally, the former includes anything acquired during the marriage.

4.         property distribution (who gets what)

5.         debt allocation (who pays what)

6.         maintenance (fka alimony) and imputed income (how much could your spouse be earning)

7.         child custody (who has the children) and parenting time (when does the other spouse get to see them)

8.         child support (determined by number of overnights and relative incomes)

9.         tax issues (deductions, joint returns, refunds, etc.)
10.       attorneys’ fees and costs (should one side pay the other's).