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Thorough Guidance Through The Complications Of Same-Sex Divorce

With new laws regarding legal same-sex marriage in Wisconsin, family law courts now face the reality of same-sex divorce. Although the process is exactly the same as divorce between heterosexual spouses, the issues are often more complicated, particularly if children are involved.

The lawyers of Benske Family Law, practice exclusively in the area of divorce and family law. Same-sex marriage is still new in Wisconsin, and same-sex divorce can involve uncharted territory. We know the legal process, and we know the issues that are likely to arise regarding the property settlement, parenting rights and spousal support.

How Does Custody Work If One Parent Adopted The Children?

It is not unusual for either spouse in a same-sex marriage to have a child from a previous relationship. In cases where the couple adopted a child at the time of the marriage, the custody and placement laws follow many of the guidelines the courts use when determining custody or placement in any divorce. However, gay and lesbian parents who chose not to adopt can face additional complications regarding the noncustodial parent, with whom the child may have come to develop a strong relationship.

Our attorneys have handled thousands of child custody and placement cases involving parental rights of a stepparent, grandparents and extended family members when the married couple chose not to adopt. Remember that while the noncustodial stepparent may not have a legal claim to joint custody or placement, the courts will always place the child’s best interests first. We have extensive experience negotiating fair and reasonable parenting time in these types of circumstances.

Is A Separation Agreement Necessary?

Because of the unique circumstances and challenges the courts face with same-sex marriage and divorce, a separation agreement may be a good option for you and your spouse. If you have an unusual situation regarding a child or property owned by either spouse prior to the marriage, a signed legal separation agreement allows you to work out a temporary arrangement that protects your rights and interests as you work toward a permanent solution. We can explain how legal separation works and whether you might benefit in the weeks or months leading up to your divorce.

How Is Child Support Calculated In Same-Sex Divorce?

The same child support standards apply in same-sex divorces as in any other divorce case. Child support in Wisconsin is calculated based on:

  • Each parent’s gross income
  • The child’s physical placement
  • The financial responsibilities of either parent toward other children

In some cases, the situation may warrant an upward or downward deviation from the guidelines. Our lawyers can help you navigate this and other child support issues.

Discuss Your Situation With An Experienced Lawyer

Call our offices in Milwaukee at 414-939-0468 or send an email with a brief explanation of your circumstances. We will reply promptly to arrange an opportunity to discuss your divorce as soon as possible.