When same-sex spouses decide to move forward with a divorce, they will have the same options as heterosexuals for dissolving their marriage, including:
- Legal separation – This can be an interim step taken before divorce when couples are still determining whether reconciliation is possible. Legal separations for LGBT spouses can also be a good option when:
- Couples want to officially separate their finances and property but still retain certain benefits from each other (like healthcare, government, or insurance benefits).
- Couples have not met the New Mexico divorce requirements, like the residency requirement mandating that at least one spouse has lived in the state for a minimum of six months.
- Uncontested divorce – If same-sex spouses agree on all of the issues of their divorce (like the division of property, support payments, and/or custody arrangements), they can pursue an uncontested divorce. These types of divorce cases usually involve spouses developing their divorce agreement and submitting it to the family court for review and approval.
- Informal divorce process – When same-sex couples disagree about any issues of their divorce but they are willing and able to work together towards a resolution, they may proceed with a collaborative divorce and/or divorce mediation. These options can lead to favorable out-of-court resolutions, which can expedite divorce cases and possibly limit divorce costs.
- Contested divorce – When same-sex couples cannot reach an agreement regarding their divorce issues via an informal process, the divorce will generally go before a family court, where a judge will make a final decision regarding the points of dispute. A contested divorce may also be a better option (than an informal divorce proceeding) when domestic violence is an issue in a case.
Regardless of the type of proceeding you wish to pursue, an LGBT family lawyer at Sutherland Law Firm, LLC can provide you with extraordinary advocacy, support, and personal service throughout the course of your case.