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29 South Main Street, Suite 311 N, West Hartford, Connecticut 06107

Divorce Lawyer in Hartford, CT Helps Couples with Same-Sex Marriage and Related Issues

Representing gay and lesbian couples in divorce and family law issues in Connecticut

At Carlo Forzani LLC, we handle a wide array of family legal issues that same-sex couples face. Lesbian and gay marriage in Connecticut has been legal since 2008, and as of October 2010, all existing civil unions became legally recognized as marriages within the state. But while the state recognizes same-sex marriages, legal obstacles regarding finances and child custody can appear for same-sex couples seeking divorce because federally, marriage is still defined as that between a man and a woman. We make a point of staying current on issues that affect LGBT couples and their families in Connecticut, and our legal team helps you navigate these issues in a way that best reflects your specific needs and interests.

Divorce and same-sex marriages in Connecticut

Since gay marriage is fully accepted in Connecticut, the process for marrying is no different than the process for heterosexual couples. Similarly, the divorce and legal separation processes for same-sex couples are also the same regarding grounds, fault, asset division and assigning spousal support. In regards to the residency requirement, Connecticut recognizes same-sex marriages from other states, but not all states recognize same-sex marriages performed in Connecticut — so couples intending to obtain a same-sex divorce who were married in Connecticut should relocate with caution.

Same-sex marriages under federal law and how divorces are affected

With the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in effect, gay marriages are not recognized federally, which means that many federal benefits to marriage cannot be enjoyed by same-sex couples, including the following:

  • Filing joint tax returns
  • Social Security survivor benefits
  • Transferring property to a surviving spouse tax-free
  • Avoiding deportation of an immigrant spouse
  • Tax-deferred transfer of pensions and other retirement accounts

When gay and lesbian couples divorce, additional federally related issues arise that would not be present for heterosexual couples. For instance, a spouse ordered to pay alimony following a same-sex divorce may not be able to claim that payment as a tax deduction. And in regards to asset division, certain accounts, such as 401(k)s, pension plans and other retirement accounts, may not be recognized as joint assets, and therefore are not counted when determining equitable distribution. Furthermore, when a married same-sex couple has children, custody issues can arise if the couple decides to divorce and only one spouse is the biological parent.

For these reasons, from the inception of the union, same-sex couples should consult an attorney who can help them avoid potential issues that may arise down the road, often via a prenuptial agreement or other set of legal documents. Securing legal representation is not just for gay spouses approaching divorce.

Talk to a reliable lawyer in Hartford, CT today

Connecticut same-sex marriage, divorce and other family legal issues can become complicated due to the discrepancy between state and federal laws. At Carlo Forzani LLC, we work with LGBT clients to anticipate and address potential difficulties. To learn more about how we can be of help, contact our firm online or call 860-841-5808 to speak to us directly.