LGBTQIA+ Separation and Divorce   

Mar 15, 2024   ·   6 minute read
LGBTQIA+ Separation and Divorce   

The decision to separate and start divorce proceedings or end a civil partnership is a difficult one for any couple. If you are an LGBTQIA+ couple there are particular challenges when separating or getting divorced.

For expert advice call our team of specialist divorce lawyers or complete our online enquiry form.

Choosing the right family lawyer

Your family lawyer needs empathy and to understand the challenges you have faced as an LGBTQIA+ couple and during your separation as well as your concerns and fears. Being a red-hot family lawyer is a necessity and having a good sense of humour and ‘getting you’ and what you are going through is a real advantage.

At Evolve Family Law we encourage all our potential clients to give us a call to see how we can help you. We are all specialists in family and private client law and pride ourselves on our friendly approach to advising on LGBTQIA+ separation and divorce.

LGBTQIA+ separation

If you are separating from your partner finding somewhere else to live may be a challenge for you. It may not be possible or comfortable for you to camp out with mum or dad and all your friends may be mutual ones, loath to take sides. Finding somewhere to rent may be tough on a single salary, especially in an area where you feel safe.

You may want to stay at the family home but are unsure if you can take the mortgage over in your name. Alternatively, your ex may have kicked you out and won’t let you return to live at the property. You may be wary about anyone believing that you have been subject to domestic abuse if it was psychological, financial or involved coercive control.

Our family lawyers can advise you about your rights to stay in the family home, interim spousal maintenance (if you are married or in a civil partnership), and injunction remedies if you were subjected to domestic abuse in your relationship.

LGBTQIA+ divorce   

With the introduction of no-fault divorce ending a civil partnership or getting divorced has got that bit easier as you no longer have to have been separated for at least 2 years and nor do you have to come up with ways in which your spouse has behaved unreasonably before you can start divorce proceedings.

Our divorce solicitors can either start the divorce proceedings for you as the sole divorce applicant or, if it is an amicable separation, we can act for both of you and file a joint divorce application.

LGBTQIA+ parenting   

Whilst children are the priority in every relationship, it is often the case that if you are an LGBTQIA+ couple you may have had a hard journey to parenthood with IVF, surrogacy or adoption struggles. The preciousness of your children can make it hard to accept that parenting after separation should be shared, especially if one of you is the biological parent or the one who pushed to have children.

If only one of you is biologically related to your child, then this is a sensitive issue but our family lawyers can help you understand who has parental responsibility for your child. If your child was born while you were in a civil partnership or marriage you will both have parental responsibility. In other scenarios, you may both have parental responsibility through a surrogacy parental order, adoption order, or parental responsibility order. Our family solicitors can advise if you both have parental responsibility and the implications if one of you doesn’t have parental responsibility. It does not mean you have no redress as you can apply to the family court for permission to apply for a child arrangement order so you can secure a contact order or an order that the child lives with you.

You may also have the complexity of children from previous relationships. Your ex-partner may want to maintain an ongoing relationship with their stepchildren whilst you think that the child is busy enough splitting their time between you and their other biological parent. Again, there are legal solutions if you are not able to reach a parenting agreement.

At Evolve Family Law we specialise in children law and can advise on parenting plans to help you reach an agreement on residence and contact. If you cannot reach an agreement with your ex-partner, we can help you apply for or respond to a child arrangement order application.

LGBTQIA+ financial settlements after separation.    

Whatever the nature of your relationship you both need a fair financial settlement after you split up. If you are married or in a civil partnership you have more family law rights than if you are in an unmarried relationship. For example, if you are in a cohabiting relationship, you have no right to spousal maintenance or a pension sharing order, and your claims on the family home or family business are limited to property law rights or business law rights. However, if you are a cohabitee or former cohabitee you may still have a property claim on the family home even if it is owned in the sole name of your former partner.

If you are married or in a civil partnership the law on how assets are divided is based on need rather than the strict application of property or corporate law. The legal position and your options may be different again if you are caring for a dependent child.

Our financial settlement solicitors can talk through your situation and what you want and need to achieve from your financial settlement. We can then negotiate hard to get you a fair financial settlement or, where necessary, apply to the family court to get you a court order that reflects your rights as a husband, wife, civil partner or former cohabitee.

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LGBTQIA+ Wills and private client advice

LGBTQIA+ couples who are not married don’t always realise the importance of Wills whilst they are in a relationship. It is equally important, if you are married, in a civil partnership or former cohabitees, that you review your Will and Lasting Power of Attorney when you are separating from your partner.

For expert advice on LGBTQIA+ separation and divorce call our team of specialist divorce lawyers or complete our online enquiry form.