In 2011, the Marriage Equality Act was passed, giving all Americans in New York the right to marry regardless of sex or gender identity. Other rights came along with this, including the right to get a divorce. Equitable distribution, child support, and alimony in a same-sex divorce are all considerations that must be made as allowed or mandated by law. Here’s what to know about spousal support in same-sex divorces and how you can get legal help advocating for your best interests.
Challenges Of Determining When a Same-Sex Marriage Began
How much alimony the lesser-earning spouse is eligible for depends largely on the total length of the marriage. In New York, you may be eligible for 5 years of alimony payments if you were married for 15 years, 8 years of alimony payments if you were married for 20 years, and if the marriage lasted longer than 20 years, the lesser-earning spouse may collect spousal support for half the length of the marriage.
When it comes to same-sex marriages, there may be some difficulty ascertaining exactly when the marriage began. This is because many same-sex couples lived together as married individuals prior to the passing of the Marriage Equality Act in 2011. In these circumstances, if a judge were to award alimony for only the length of the legal marriage, this may be unequitable.
Why Hiring a Divorce Attorney Is So Important
In New York, there are no specific statutes that dictate how to determine alimony in a same-sex divorce when the couple has been living together as a married couple for some time prior to getting legally married. This means that it’s up to a judge to decide and there’s room for attorneys on both sides to argue their cases.
If you are the lesser-earning spouse in a same-sex divorce, you may be at an extreme disadvantage, especially if your spouse has a high-powered legal team behind them. Your spouse will likely argue for the least amount of spousal support possible for the least amount of time. In this case, it’s important to protect your best interests by working with an attorney who can zealously advocate for you to receive the alimony you deserve after your divorce.
Why Work With Connecticut & New York Divorce Lawyer Heidi Opinsky
Veteran Connecticut and New York divorce lawyer Heidi E. Opinsky has the skills and expertise needed to provide her clients with comprehensive, aggressive legal support during same-sex divorces and any other family legal matter. You need someone on your side who can fight for the best possible outcome for you and your family regardless of which side of the circumstances you are on.
Call today for an initial consultation to discuss your case and to learn more about the legal options that are available to you in a same-sex divorce. Dial 203-653-3542 now or visit the Contact Us page to send a message and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.