Congratulations to all the Same Sex Couples who got married! Equality is always worth fighting for and we are moving toward a more loving, indiscriminate society. Now, that we have you married a lot of my same sex couple friends have wondered how do we get divorced? Is the process to divorce a same sex marriage the same as for heterosexual couples? Yes and No. If the couple did get married then the process is pretty much similar. The only different is that the parties would have to file a FL-103 petition which is allocated for same sex couples. The petition provides for a dissolution of marriage and a dissolution of a domestic partnership. * Update as of January 2015, the California Judicial Council forms were updated to include same sex couples on the Petition for Dissolution
FL-103/Dissolution of Marriage for Same Sex Couples
The FL-103 is very similar to the FL-100 but has the boxes to check allocated for a dissolution of either a Same Sex Marriage of a Domestic Partnership. Should the couple wish to get divorced they must go through the same process as any other marriage. Exchange of Disclosures and financial documents, settlement and/or trial on all the issues of the marriage and then take the matter to final judgment. This process is for same sex couples who were legally married not for those who filed for a domestic partnership.
Dissolution of Domestic Partnership for Same Sex Couples
Couples can register for a domestic partnership with the Secretary of State of California to receive certain benefits that a marriage provides. In order to dissolve that partnership the couple can go through a simple process with the Secretary of State of California. However, through that process they do not have a hearing and cannot go before a judge to reach an agreement or a binding judgment. If the couple cannot agree on the terms of the dissolution they can file with the Superior Court of Los Angeles in order to having a hearing on the issue and receive a court order. The process would be very similar for a dissolution of marriage but it would be to terminate the domestic partnership that the parties entered into.
Maryam Atighechi can help same sex couples terminate a domestic partnership or a dissolution of marriage.