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Is the Divorce Process for Same-Sex Couples the Same as Regular Divorce in Michigan?

Is the Divorce Process for Same-Sex Couples the Same as Regular Divorce in Michigan?

Since same-sex marriage became the law of the land due to the 2015 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, gay couples have been able to enjoy the same legal rights as opposite-sex couples. As such, Michigan law also treats the divorce process for same-sex couples the same as all other divorces.

However, as with many areas of life, gay and lesbian spouses can face challenges other couples do not confront when their marriages are ending. Working with a compassionate and experienced Michigan divorce lawyer can help protect the rights of same-sex spouses during the process.

What Is the Process for Divorce in Michigan? 

Michigan is a no-fault divorce state. As such, a spouse does not need to prove any wrongdoing or fault on their partner’s part to file for divorce. One party can simply allege that the relationship has broken down to such an extent that the bonds of marriage have become unsustainable. When this occurs, the process is as follows:

  1. One spouse files a complaint for divorce with the county clerk, along with the appropriate fee.
  2. The other spouse is served with the complaint and has a chance to respond.
  3. The couple can file for an uncontested divorce if they agree on all terms. If not, they will need to negotiate or litigate the issues.
  4. The court will issue a final judgment of divorce, which legally ends the marriage and sets forth the divorce terms, such as property division, alimony, and child custody.

Obstacles for Same-Sex Couples During Divorce

While the legal process is the same, same-sex couples may face unique challenges during divorce:

  • Division of Assets – If the couple was together for many years before marriage was legal, dividing assets fairly can be more complicated.
  • Child Custody – If one spouse is not the biological parent and did not legally adopt the child, they may have a more challenging time securing custody or visitation rights.
  • Spousal Support – Determining the length of the marriage for alimony purposes can be tricky if the couple was together long before they could legally marry.
  • Retirement Benefits – Dividing pensions, 401(k)s, and other retirement assets can be more complex, especially if the couple was together for years before marriage equality.

Contact Selleck Legal, PLLC, for Help with Your Same-Sex Divorce

The experienced attorneys at Selleck Legal, PLLC, understand that same-sex couples still face additional unfair challenges. Our seasoned legal team has a thorough understanding of Michigan divorce laws, and we are ready to fight for your rights and preserve your family’s best interests throughout the process. We will use our sharp negotiation skills to work toward an equitable settlement that takes into account the unique aspects of your marriage. If necessary, we will argue on your behalf in court to secure a fair outcome.

With our compassionate LGBT divorce attorneys on your side, you can move through your divorce and beyond with dignity. Call or contact us online for a confidential consultation to learn more about how we can help you.

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