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Five Key Facts to Know About LGBTQ+ Divorce

October 6th, 2014, the Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal in the case of Baskin v. Bogan. On that date, same-sex marriage was officially legalized in Indiana. It was only several months later, in 2015, that marital equality became the law of the land nationwide. While LGBTQ couples have the same rights as opposite-sex couples, they can also face some unique challenges in the divorce process. Here, our Indianapolis divorce lawyer highlights five key facts to know about LGBTQ divorce in Indiana. 

  • Study: LGBTQ Couples Get Divorced at a Slightly Lower Rate that Straight Couples 

The preliminary research shows that LGBTQ couples file for divorce at a rate that is slightly lower than heterosexual couples. According to data cited by the UCLA School of Law Williams Institute, straight couples were nearly 30% more likely to file for divorce. Though, researchers caution that there could be many reasons for this effect and that it may be temporary. 

  • Marriage Equality Means the Divorce Process is the Same

Since the legalization of same-sex marriage in Indiana in 2012, the divorce process for LGBTQ couples has been the same as it is for opposite-sex couples. From a purely technical legal perspective, there is no difference in the laws or the process. In effect, this means that LGBTQ couples now have access to the same legal rights (and responsibilities) as opposite-sex couples, including in relation to property division, spousal support, and child custody.

  • LGBTQ Couples in a Pre-2014 Relationship May Face Complex Property Division Issues

For LGBTQ couples who were in a relationship before the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2014, the property division process may be more complex. The reason for this is that pre-2014 relationships were not recognized as legal marriages. However, some couples did live in a marriage-like relationship whereby they “shared” property. 

  • Legally-Established Parental Rights are Key for LGBTQ Parents (Custody and Visitation)

For LGBTQ parents going through a divorce, the specific nature of parental rights is extremely important. For non-biological parents, they will only have full custody and visitation rights if they legally adopted a child. In Indiana, a step-parent—whether heterosexual or LGBTQ—has limited rights in a divorce. 

  • Most Divorcing LGBTQ Couples Desire a Low-Conflict Settlement

Similar to opposite-sex couples, most divorcing LGBTQ couples desire a low-conflict settlement. A collaborative, low-conflict approach can help to minimize the emotional and financial toll of divorce and allows couples to focus on moving forward with their lives. An experienced Indiana divorce lawyer can help you find the best solution for your specific situation. 

Get Help From Our Indianapolis LGBTQ Divorce Lawyer Today

At López Law Office, our Indianapolis divorce attorney has the specialized skills, experience, and expertise to help our clients navigate the complexities of an LGBTQ divorce. Contact us today to arrange a fully confidential, no-obligation initial consultation. With a law office in Indianapolis, we provide LGBTQ divorce representation in Marion County and throughout the wider region.

Vanessa López Aguilera

Attorney Vanessa López Aguilera represents clients in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Area