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Prioritizing Your Pride


Same Sex Marriage

The legal right to marry is no longer dependent upon sexual orientation. Yet, the difficulties experienced by couples seeking divorce, is amplified in same sex unions.  


Maryland legalized same sex marriage on January 1, 2013.  However, many same sex couples have been in a committed relationship long before their union was legally recognized.   One problem is that the length of the “legal marriage” is a factor in the determination of alimony.  How does a spouse in a committed relationship get a fair alimony award when their commitment predates the legalization of their union?

The same issue arises regarding property division. In Maryland, marital property is all property acquired during marriage.  Non-marital property is defined as property that is acquired prior to marriage, via gift or inheritance.  In same sex divorces, this distinction presents a challenge when a couple acquired property as committed partners, before “marriage”.

Legal issues involving Cryogenics are not exclusive to the LGBTQIA+ but it is prevalent in the community.     Special considerations apply to divorces or permanent separations when the couple does not have an agreement that states what happens to the embryos created during the relationship.   So…what happens to the embryos?    If the couple has an agreement, the embryos could go to one person or donated to another couple or for scientific research.  But what are the rights of  the other parent?   Can a Maryland court force the contractually disadvantaged spouse/parent into biological parenthood? 

If you are facing a same sex divorce, or separation, Ms.  Harris is here to help prioritize your family law rights as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. Contact us today at (410) 670-8200 to discuss your family’s unique situation and options. 

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