Divorcing your spouse is rarely a simple decision. Even in the most amicable situations, the divorce process can become messy and emotional. If you have decided to divorce your same-sex spouse in Rock Hill, SC, you deserve to have an experienced divorce lawyer who can help you navigate potentially thorny and complex issues.
An experienced Rock Hill LGBT divorce lawyer at Minor Law Divorce Lawyers can provide the support you need and deserve. We have nearly a decade of experience helping our clients find workable solutions to complex problems.
LGBTQ couples often face issues that simply don’t arise in heterosexual marriages. Our lawyers are here to help, so call our law firm in Rock Hill, South Carolina, at (803) 504-0971 to schedule a consultation today.
How Can Minor Law Divorce Lawyers Help With My LGBT Divorce Case in Rock Hill, SC?
In a divorce, each spouse has their own ideas about how to resolve sensitive issues. Even when the decision to divorce is amicable, reaching an agreement can be difficult.
An experienced Rock Hill family law attorney can make a significant difference in the resolution of your case.
When you hire Minor Law Divorce Lawyers for legal advice, you’ll have an entire team of skilled legal professionals in your corner to:
- Identify realistic solutions to complex issues
- Help you understand your rights and obligations under the law
- Investigate and gather evidence to support your case when necessary
- Negotiate with the other side to protect your best interests
- Represent you in family court if necessary to reach a fair settlement
You have enough to worry about right now. You don’t have to navigate the complex divorce process alone. Contact our Rock Hill family lawyers today to learn more about this practice area.
Overview of South Carolina’s LGBT Divorce Laws
LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) couples have all of the same rights and obligations as heterosexual couples. However, same-sex couples often face difficulties and questions that don’t arise in heterosexual divorces. That’s because same-sex divorce is relatively new in South Carolina.
The U.S. Supreme Court only legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 U.S. states in 2015. Same-sex marriage only became legal in South Carolina one year earlier than that, in 2014.
Unfortunately, South Carolina law often struggles to catch up to modern reality. The governor himself has made statements that can perpetrate bias. You deserve an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the complicated situations that can arise throughout the divorce process.
Our team at Minor Law Divorce Lawyers Is well-prepared to help you get the results that are best for you and your family. Contact our lawyers in York County today to learn more about the legal issues and how the law applies in your case.
Our Experienced Lawyers Will Help You Navigate All of the Issues Related to Your LGBT Divorce in Rock Hill, South Carolina
As with heterosexual couples, not all same-sex marriages last a lifetime. With the right to legally marry comes the right to legally divorce.
You can file for divorce in South Carolina if you meet one of two residency requirements:
- Both you and your spouse lived in South Carolina for at least three months prior to filing
- Either you or your spouse lived in South Carolina for one year immediately prior to filing
The technical process for obtaining a same-sex divorce in South Carolina does not differ based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
That said, LGBT couples often face challenges because of the relative newness of legalized same-sex marriage. Biological realities can also create complications.
Some of those challenges include divorce and custody issues involving:
- Child custody when one parent is not a biological or adoptive parent
- Division of marital property
- Alimony and spousal support
- Domestic partnerships and civil unions
South Carolina does not specifically recognize domestic partnerships. However, it is possible that you may have entered into a domestic partnership agreement before the court case Obergefell v. Hodges became law. If you have a valid domestic partnership agreement in place, that agreement will also have to be terminated before your relationship is officially ended.
What Is the Process for Obtaining an LGBT Divorce in Rock Hill, SC?
In South Carolina, you must first identify the grounds for your divorce petition. The State of South Carolina recognizes several different legal grounds for obtaining a divorce.
Grounds for divorce in South Carolina include:
- Habitual drunkenness or drug use
- Physical cruelty
- Abandonment for a period of at least one year
Like most states, you can also obtain a no-fault divorce in South Carolina. To obtain a no-fault divorce, you and your spouse must live separately for at least one year before filing.
Once you have specified grounds for divorce or satisfied the one-year separation requirement, the process works like this:
- One spouse files a Summons and Complaint that states the basis for the divorce
- The other spouse is served with a copy of that divorce petition
- The recipient spouse has 30 days to file an answer responding to issues in the divorce petition
The divorce can be contested or uncontested, depending on the recipient spouse’s answer to the divorce petition. In uncontested divorces, the couple agrees on all major issues pertaining to the divorce. As the name suggests, in a contested divorce, the couple disagrees on at least one issue.
How Is Marital Property Divided in a Rock Hill LGBT Divorce Case?
South Carolina follows an equitable distribution law when it comes to the division of marital property. That means the division is meant to be fair, not necessarily equal.
Marital property is defined to include all property acquired while the couple is legally married (including both assets and debts incurred during the marriage).
Two primary issues can create complications for same-sex couples who have only gained the right to legally marry recently:
- Even when determining how to “equitably divide” the property, the courts will consider the length of the marriage
- Non-marital property acquired by either spouse before the marriage is not subject to division
It can be difficult to agree on what is “fair” when you’re ending your relationship. When courts get involved, they have significant leeway when it comes to dividing marital property. While we would expect the judge to consider all facets of the relationship when deciding how to divide property when the issue is contested, not all judges look at the big picture.
Our Rock Hill divorce attorneys at Minor Law Divorce Lawyers are here to help you account for all of your property. We can help you determine which assets are most important to you–and help you negotiate a favorable settlement agreement.
Will I Be Entitled To Receive Payments for Spousal Support or Alimony?
Alimony or spousal support may be available when two spouses are in unequal financial positions. When one spouse depends on the other for financial support, the goal of alimony is to allow both spouses to maintain a similar lifestyle after the divorce. That recognizes the fact that the lower-earning spouse likely contributed to the marriage equally.
Spousal support can be awarded as a lump sum payment or periodic payments. In some cases, the court may order rehabilitative support to allow the lower-earning spouse time to complete education or find employment.
How Are Child Support and Child Custody Issues Resolved in LGBT Divorce Cases?
When a couple divorces in South Carolina, the law requires them to determine how to divide parenting responsibilities. That includes both legal physical custody and financial responsibility.
In LGBT divorce cases, child support and custody issues can be much more complicated if one parent is not the child’s legal parent. If one spouse is the child’s biological parent and the other has not legally adopted the child, the non-biological parent does not have legal parenting rights or obligations.
If both spouses are legal parents, child support and child custody issues are resolved in the same way as any heterosexual divorce case. As in other states, South Carolina courts make decisions regarding child custody and support based on what is in the “best interests of the child.”
Factors that the court will consider include:
- The child’s preference, depending on the child’s age
- The child’s ties to the community, education, and general stability at existing and proposed residences
- Each spouse’s historical parenting role and involvement with the child
- Each parent’s desire and ability to parent the child
- How each spouse has encouraged a continuing parent-child relationship with the other parent
- Each parent’s physical and mental health
- Any history of domestic violence
In many cases, joint custody is preferable. If the parents cannot agree, the courts will intervene and divide parenting time and child support obligations.
Contact a Trusted Rock Hill LGBT Divorce Lawyer for Help Protecting Your Legal Rights Today
Getting a divorce can be incredibly stressful, regardless of the circumstances. The issues involved in your divorce are some of the most important imaginable. It can be tough to agree.
At Minor Law Divorce Lawyers, our team has represented clients dealing with life-altering divorce issues for years. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced Rock Hill LGBT divorce lawyer.
Additional Divorce Resources
- SC Judicial Branch – Visit the official website of SC Judicial Branch
- South Carolina Superior Court Clerk’s Office – Court record storage and retrieval, information, and financial management for the judicial system and county government.
- South Carolina Family and Social Services – Read more about family and social services in South Carolina
Rock Hill, SC Therapists
- Thriveworks Counseling & Psychiatry Rock Hill – 1030 Riverwalk Parkway Suite 203, Rock Hill, SC 29730, United States
- Kennington Counseling – 1420 Ebenezer Rd Suite 101, Rock Hill, SC 29732, United States
- Dr. Lois Veronen, Ph.D. – 229 Johnston St, Rock Hill, SC 29730, United States
- Beacon of Hope Counseling, LLC – 1035 Oakland Ave, Rock Hill, SC 29732, United States
*Disclaimer – we do not endorse these companies or profit from having them listed on our website.