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Unique circumstances in LGBT divorce issues

Going through a divorce for any Maryland couple can be difficult, especially if there are marital assets or children involved. However, going through a divorce within the LGBT community can be even more difficult due to the unique stressors and legal complications that the community faces.

Children are often the main point of contention in the LGBT community. Part of what can make divorce and child custody so difficult is that there are often more than two people involved in creating a family. LGBT parents often rely on sperm donors, egg donors and surrogates to bring children into the world. In some cases, the other parties want to be involved in raising the children, making custody and child support a difficult situation to understand and deal with for the courts.

Additionally, many LGBT families were formed before the marriage equality. As such, families had children and then split up before gay marriage was legalized. If a parent does not have a biological or legal relationship with the child, that parent could potentially lose custody.

Further, the distribution of property and spousal support becomes more nuanced in the LGBT community. Many couples who later divorced were together for years or even decades before being able to get married. In these cases, "tacking," which is the ability to use fact patterns such as a ceremony, to establish how the length and date of a marriage should be adjusted.

Family law matters, such as divorce, the custody of children and the division of property can extremely difficult for all of those involved. Because these cases can be legally difficult to maneuver, a family law attorney who understands the complexity of LGBT divorces may help a former spouse navigate the process. Depending on the situation, the attorney may represent a former spouse if the case goes to court or work to reach an agreement with the other party outside of court if possible.

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