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Unique Considerations For Oregon Couples Pursuing an LGBTQ Divorce

Published February 24, 2021
The divorce process is challenging for everyone, but members of the LGBTQ community may face additional challenges along the way. From financial considerations to parental rights negotiations, working with a trusted divorce attorney who specializes in same-sex divorce is recommended.

The divorce process is inherently challenging for everyone. When you enter into your marriage, you are likely full of hope and optimism about your shared future. But, as time moves on, you and your spouse may begin to realize that you no longer see eye-to-eye with one another, or that you simply want different things out of life. Going through a divorce can be complicated and emotionally draining for anyone, but members of the LGBTQ community may face additional challenges as they navigate the divorce process. Let’s take a look at some of these unique obstacles and how same-sex couples can find the support they need to successfully navigate the divorce process in Oregon.

Financial Considerations

As part of the divorce process, the couple needs to determine an equitable division of their marital assets. However, many same-sex couples may have been in committed relationships for years—or even decades—before they were able to legally marry. As you begin to have conversations about the division of your property and assets, it’s a good idea to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable divorce attorney who is sensitive to the needs of the LGBTQ community. Together, you can negotiate a fair split that accurately addresses your circumstances.

Parental Rights

For same-sex couples who have children, there may be additional challenges to sort out when it comes to determining child custody, visitation rights, and child support matters. For lesbian couples, one spouse may be the child’s biological mother, while the other spouse may not be legally recognized as the child’s parent. Gay men may face a similar challenge if one spouse acted as the sperm donor and fathered the child via a surrogate. Sometimes, more than two parties are involved in these child custody and child support arrangements, so it’s essential that you work with a trusted family law attorney who understands the nuances of your situation.

Emotional Support

While societal attitudes towards LGBTQ relationships have generally warmed in recent decades, same-sex couples still face discrimination from family members, co-workers, and other members of society. Going through a divorce can feel overwhelming and isolating, especially if you don’t feel like you have the support and love of your family or friends during this difficult time. Some members of the LGBTQ community who divorce their spouse find the experience to be lonely, so it’s highly encouraged that you think about people in your life who can provide you the emotional support you need as you create a new life for yourself. Even having just one friend to turn to when you feel overwhelmed, sad, or anxious can make you feel heard, safe, and ready to continue moving forward.


At Lee Tyler Family Law, P.C., we are committed to helping all couples successfully navigate the divorce process so they may enjoy a brighter future. To learn more about how we can support you through the same-sex divorce process in the Portland area, call us at (503) 233-8868 to get started.

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