York County LGBT Divorce Lawyer 

Filing for divorce is rarely an easy decision, even when both spouses agree the marriage is over. The divorce process can be emotionally draining, frustrating, and complicated. If you have decided to end your marriage with your same-sex spouse, hiring an experienced York County LGBT divorce lawyer should be your first step. Your attorney can help you navigate the divorce process in York County, South Carolina.

It is crucial that you receive a divorce settlement that provides the resources you need to enter the next phase of life. At Minor Law Divorce Lawyers, our experienced York County LGBT divorce attorney can help you obtain a fair divorce settlement. We can help you navigate negotiating for workable solutions for complex issues, including child custody and property division.

Call Minor Law Divorce Lawyers at (803) 504-0971 to schedule a consultation today. We’re here when you need a trusted advocate to help you with a divorce case in York County, SC.

How Can Minor Law Divorce Lawyers Help You With an LGBT Divorce Case in York County, SC?

How Can Minor Law Divorce Lawyers Help You With an LGBT Divorce Case in York County, SC?

Most spouses have decided how they want to resolve the issues related to their divorce in York County, SC. Unfortunately, their plans may not be the same. Therefore, reaching a divorce settlement can be challenging. However, hiring an experienced York County family law attorney can significantly affect the divorce process and final resolution.

When you hire our top-rated York County divorce attorney, you can trust we will handle all matters related to your divorce case. 

Our team of skilled legal professionals are here to help you:

  • Understand South Carolina divorce laws, especially how the laws apply to LGBT divorce cases
  • Identify realistic solutions to issues and problems
  • Protect your parental rights and the best interests of your children
  • Negotiate with your spouse to achieve a fair and reasonable divorce settlement
  • Investigate issues and gather evidence to support your claims when necessary
  • Represent you in court and at a trial if necessary 

Minor Law Divorce Lawyers provides our clients with compassionate, family-focused, and results-driven legal counsel. Contact our York County LGBT divorce attorney today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss how we can help you obtain a divorce.

Overview of LGBT Divorce Laws in South Carolina

Same-sex marriage became legal in York County in 2014. Therefore, LGBT couples have the same obligations and legal rights as heterosexual couples.

Because LGBT divorce cases can involve unique issues that the law may not adequately address, it is essential to hire an experienced York County LGBT divorce attorney. Doing so can help you navigate these complex issues. Our legal team at Minor Law Divorce Lawyers has extensive experience representing same-sex spouses as they seek a divorce in South Carolina.

What Types of Issues Do LGBT Couples Face When They File for Divorce in South Carolina?

You do need to meet one of the following two residency requirements to successfully file for divorce in York County:

  • You and your spouse must be residents of South Carolina for a minimum of three months before filing for divorce; OR,
  • Either you or your spouse is a South Carolina resident for at least one year before filing for divorce.

The process of filing for divorce is the same for same-sex couples as it is for heterosexual couples. A divorce is not predicated on a person’s gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity. 

However, because of the newness of LGBT divorce cases in South Carolina, LGBT couples often face challenges regarding several divorce issues, such as:

  • Alimony and spousal support
  • Child custody when a spouse is not the biological or adoptive parent
  • Civil unions or domestic partnerships
  • Property division

Our York County LGBT divorce attorney is familiar with the challenges same-sex couples face when they file for divorce. We prepare you for these challenges and address them head-on.

What Is the Process of Obtaining a Same-Sex Divorce in York County, SC?

South Carolina has several legal grounds for divorce. They are the same for LGBT divorces as they are for heterosexual divorces.

You must prove one of these grounds to obtain a divorce in York County. All but one of the grounds for divorce in South Carolina are related to fault for the breakup of the marriage. Therefore, you must prove that your spouse committed the specific wrongdoing cited in the grounds for divorce for the court to grant you a divorce.

The grounds for divorce in South Carolina are:

  • Adultery
  • Physical cruelty
  • Habitual drunkenness or drug use
  • Abandonment for at least one year

South Carolina has a form of no-fault divorce. To obtain a no-fault divorce, you must live separately for at least one year before petitioning the court for a divorce.

The standard divorce process includes these steps:

  • File a Summons and Complaint with the York County Family Court
  • Serve the Summons and Complaint on your spouse
  • Your spouse has 30 days to respond or answer the allegations in the complaint

You can petition the court for a default divorce judgment if your spouse does not file an answer or response. However, your divorce case can take several routes if your spouse answers the complaint.

When spouses agree on all significant issues pertaining to their divorce, we refer to the case as an uncontested divorce. The spouses can file a proposed divorce settlement for the court to review and incorporate into the final divorce decree.

The divorce is contested if the couple disagrees on one or more significant issues. A contested divorce proceeds through discovery and mediation/negotiations. The case goes to trial if the parties cannot resolve the issues. A judge decides the outcome based on the law and evidence presented during the trial.

Dividing Marital Property in an LGBT Divorce in York County, SC

South Carolina is an equitable distribution state. Instead of dividing all marital property equally between the spouses, the law states marital assets are to be divided fairly. Fair could mean a 50/50 split, but not always.

Marital assets generally include all property acquired by the couple during the marriage. There are a few exceptions for inheritances and gifts.

Judges will consider the length of the marriage when deciding property division, and property acquired before the marriage is not subject to division. Because same-sex marriages were not legally recognized in South Carolina until 2014, an LGBT couple may have been together for many years before their marriage was deemed “legal”. A judge may not consider that time when deciding property division in LGBT divorce.

It is usually better to negotiate a property settlement agreement with your spouse instead of allowing a judge to decide what is fair. Judges should look at all evidence and facets of the relationship when deciding property division, but that might not happen.

Our York County divorce lawyer at Minor Law Divorce Lawyers works to identify all marital assets, account for hidden assets, protect separate property, and negotiate a fair agreement. 

How Is Child Custody and Child Support Decided in LGBT Divorce Cases in York County, SC?

South Carolina grants parents legal and physical custody. Generally, joint custody is preferred to allow children and parents to maintain close relationships after a divorce. However, a court may grant sole custody if a parent is unfit or there are other reasons to deny custody.

In LGBT divorce cases, child custody can be complicated if one parent is not the child’s legal parent. Only a legal parent has parental rights. If you are not the biological parent or adoptive parent of your child, you should contact us immediately to discuss child custody issues.

If both parents in an LGBT divorce case are the legal parents, judges decide custody in the same way as heterosexual divorces. The law requires judges to decide custody based on the best interests of the child. 

Child custody laws set forth factors judges must consider, including:

  • A child’s reasonable preference 
  • A parent’s mental and physical health
  • The historic role of each parent in raising the child and being involved in the child’s life
  • The stability of the child’s current home and their ties to the community
  • A parent’s desire and ability to parent the child
  • Any history of domestic violence
  • Whether a parent has encouraged a continuing relationship between their child and the child’s other parent

Even if parents agree on child custody terms, the court can modify the agreement if it finds any terms are not in the child’s best interest. After custody is resolved, the court orders child support based on the South Carolina child support guidelines.

Can Same-Sex Spouses Receive Alimony or Spousal Support in South Carolina?

South Carolina divorce laws allow for spousal support and alimony. Absent an agreement, the court considers the evidence presented in court to determine if alimony is justified. The judge must find a need for financial support by one spouse and the ability to pay support by the other spouse.

Schedule a Confidential Consultation With Our York County LGBT Divorce Lawyer

You have enough to worry about when you are seeking a divorce than to stress about understanding the ins and outs of South Carolina divorce law. At Minor Law Divorce Lawyers, we have extensive knowledge of South Carolina family law and how those laws impact your case. We’ll guide you through the process of obtaining an LGBT divorce in York County, SC while protecting your rights and best interests.

Call Minor Law Divorce Lawyers to schedule a confidential consultation with a York County LGBT divorce attorney.