A same-sex divorce is, in almost every respect, the same as an opposite-sex divorce. The process is the same, the issues are the same. If no children are involved, a same-sex divorce is indistinguishable from a heterosexual divorce without children: The focus of the proceedings will be to divide the community property, to determine if either party has a claim to spousal maintenance, and to end the marriage.
If both spouses are already established as legal parents of any children, then a divorce with children between a same-sex couple will also be the same as a divorce with children with a heterosexual couple: The Court has to apportion legal decision-making and parenting time (formerly known as legal custody and physical custody) and enter a child support order.
What makes same-sex divorce different from heterosexual divorces is potentially one issue: Paternity of the couple’s children. Under Arizona law, when a married woman gives birth, there is a presumption her spouse is the child’s other parent. The Arizona Supreme Court has recently clarified that this presumption applies to same-sex spouse of a woman who gives birth. Additionally, the Arizona Court of Appeals has instructed the Department of Economic Security to adjust its birth certificate forms to recognize to list same-sex parents on the birth certificates with the titles “mother-mother” or “father-father.”
While both of these advancements have rightfully been hailed as advancements for same-sex rights, many gaps and uncertainty still exist. For example, when children born to an unmarried woman in a committed same-sex relationship, her partner is not a legal parent and does not have even a presumption of paternity (unless an Acknowledgment of Paternity is executed). While spouses of married mothers have a presumption of paternity, Arizona law has not yet recognized a corresponding presumption for the spouses of married fathers who have a child during the marriage (complicated also by the fact that surrogacy is illegal in Arizona, which cuts down one of the avenues for men in a same-sex relationship to have a biological child).
Additionally, a presumption of paternity is just that—a presumption. There are four presumptions of paternity under Arizona law. A presumption can be rebutted, and even a married spouse of the birth mother might find herself fighting for the legal parentage of her children.
Simply put: This is an evolving area of the law that may not be moving as quickly as some may like.
The good news is there may be some ways to avoid the possibility of this fight by having a spouse without a biological connection adopt the child.
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Throughout this entire process, everyone at the firm treated me with the courtesy and respect that you would extend a lifelong friend, and for that humble gesture I shall remain forever grateful . . .
The best at what they do! Im so impressed by the knowledge Stephen has off the top of his head. The whole crew is amazing . Would highly recommend them.
I've never met such a passionate, organized, and responsive group of attorneys. Family law matters can be emotionally and legally challenging but this group stands out as the place to go to get great help
The team that works here is professional, timely, and has your best interests at the root of every decision. They work tirelessly and have an amazing array of experience to act on your behalf..., they’d always be my choice!
Highly recommend this firm for family law disputes. The efforts that they put forth to a case are some of the best that you can get, but they also know how to really work with a client and make it feel like a team atmosphere
I know some of the lead attorneys at State 48 Law Firm, and have complete faith and trust in their knowledge and professionalism. I would trust them implicitly, with my own legal needs.
Excellent team of attorneys. Everyone has a wealth of experience and a great depth of legal knowledge. I would highly recommend this firm to anyone.
I can't recommend State 48 Law Firm enough. They have a great team of experienced attorneys, although I highly recommend Bryce Johnson! He has a wealth of family law knowledge and will fight for you.
I've known and worked with State 48 attorney Bryce Johnson for several years and know him to be a considerate and tactful attorney who fights tooth and nail for his clients. I would recommend State 48 for your family law needs!
Everyone at State 48 Law Firm is great! Jillian Hansen will take the time to educate you about the process while showing empathy for the situation.
State 48 Law includes a very experienced team of lawyers who will work tirelessly for you. I would recommend their team, and specifically Bryce Johnson, to anyone.
During one of the most difficult periods in your life, it is imperative to find a lawyer and a law firm, who can look after your interests.
I’ve worked with this Team before & can’t say enough about their professionalism & constant communication. Highly recommend State48 for anything family law.
Ankita takes her time, is very responsive, and shows that she does care. You don’t usually find that compassion in a lawyer. I can’t thank her enough for helping us through our case and I highly recommended her!
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