Same-sex marriages in Maryland and Washington, DC have been legal since 2013 and 2009, respectively. Since June 26, 2015, with the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decisions, legal protection of same-sex marriage has been extended throughout the country. With legal status comes the protection and application of each jurisdiction’s domestic relations laws. While that is reason for celebration from a human rights perspective, same-sex couples are now subject to the established precedents and case law which govern domestic relations as it relates to marriage and divorce. It also means that divorce and other family law proceedings are inevitable, and while there are additional protections for one spouse there is also additional exposure for the other spouse.
Brodsky Renehan Pearlstein & Bouquet has focused solely on family law since our inception in 1950. Our attorneys are experienced in every aspect of family law including same-sex prenuptial agreements, marriage and divorce. We have helped same-sex couples navigate family law issues since before legalization and now apply our decades of family law experience in both Maryland and Washington, DC to help same-sex clients with all family law matters.
Legal status for same-sex marriage means that all the current case law, statutes, and procedural rules apply to the dissolution of a marriage in Maryland and DC. In fact in most cases, the courts will treat a same-sex divorce exactly the same as what was once considered a “traditional” divorce. This means that the division of property, award of spousal support (alimony and pendente lite alimony), and rules governing separation apply. And, like other marriages, same-sex couples seeking a divorce or separation must protect their interests and proceed with caution. There are still numerous issues that are considered untested waters in same-sex relationships, grounds for divorce (such as adultery in Maryland), as well as equitable distribution of assets when the relationship has been ongoing for far longer than the period of time that marriage was actually legal.
At Brodsky Renehan, we help clients determine their individual goals and then chart a course through the divorce process to help achieve them. Each situation is unique but we advise clients on the best strategy to pursue and then execute to successfully conclude the matter. The overwhelming majority of cases settle prior to litigation but, occasionally, a trial is required. Our attorneys are litigators and should a case proceed to trial we are well versed in the courtroom and ready to proceed.
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If you are struggling with a family law issue related to same-sex marriage then contact us so we can have a conversation. Our attorneys can advise you on the way forward and, should you choose to retain our firm, help resolve the matter in the best possible manner.