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Considerations for same-sex divorce in Louisiana

Same-sex marriage became federally legalized in 2015. Now, same-sex couples encounter various legal issues nonexistent before the federal decree.

Depending on when and where you married your partner, you may face legal hurdles if you want a divorce. Continue reading to learn more about the divorcing process in Louisiana for same-sex marriages.

Status before the federal decision

Since the legal right to marry is so recent, many gay couples found ways to marry outside of their home state of Louisiana. Many states preceded the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decision and recognized same-sex marriage, even for out-of-state residents. Other Louisianians chose to join a civil union, which does not denote the same legal rights as to marriage. If you want to separate but married out of state or joined a civil partnership before the federal decision, Louisiana may not recognize your previous arrangement as a legal marriage.

Make sure to validate your marriage

If Louisiana does not recognize your marriage as valid, then your property division and other arrangements such as child custody do not fall under the same jurisdiction. Instead of the standard 50/50 arrangement, you need to figure out how to divide your property amongst yourselves. Child custody will most likely default to the biological parent. In certain circumstances, this can work out in your favor. However, same-sex couples who want the same property treatment must first validate their marriage under Louisiana law.

Unfortunately, sometimes the legal system takes time to catch up to the federal policy. In the coming years and decades, same-sex marriages will not face the same red tape and antiquated laws.

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