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Same-Sex Divorce

gay-divorceGay Divorce in Tennessee

Marriages between same-sex couples were made legal across the nation following the Supreme Court ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges in June of 2015. Tennessee, along with every other state, now offers the opportunity of marriage and divorce for same-sex couples.

As a state leaning towards conservative values, Tennessee has traditionally put up barriers between gay and lesbian couples seeking to resolve marital issues. Civil unions and other substitute practices have, up to this point, provided as many marital services as possible to those involved in same-sex relationships. Fortunately, these frustrating alternative procedures are no longer necessary.

Dividing Property And Debt

Divorces are notorious for causing problems related to ownership and allocation of debts. Previously in Tennessee, when committed same-sex relationships involved assets and property, the best method available for securing them was to file a cohabitation agreement. These documents served the purpose of defining “what belongs to who.” But same-sex couples are entitled to the same procedural options as heterosexual spouses during the divorce process. Prenuptial agreements establish the same concerns, in addition to any other considerations relevant to a relationship. Conditions laid out in prenuptial agreements are court-enforceable. Postnuptial agreements, filed during marriage or the pre-divorce process, are also available for same-sex couples.

Even if neither document is used to lay down the logistical terms of a marital estate, good legal representation can assure that property, finances, and debts are distributed fairly following the resolution of a same-sex marriage.

Child Support And Custody:

As with heterosexual divorces, consideration of children is taken very seriously by Tennessee law. The divorce process is designed to operate in the best interest of any minor child involved in a same-sex marriage. Permanent Parenting Plans are used to establish who is the Primary Residential Parent) PRP and who is the Alternate Residential Parent (ARP). These documents also serve to provide conditions related to grandparent and stepparent rights, visitation, and child support.


There are four different categories of alimony:

  • Alimony in Solido: Non-modifiable payments provided in specified amounts.
  • Alimony in Futuro: Paid installments indefinitely provided to ensure a financially disadvantaged spouse’s quality of life is reasonably maintained.
  • Rehabilitative Alimony: Payments made to give financially disadvantaged spouses the opportunity of pursuing additional education or job training.
  • Transitional Alimony: Payments that accommodate prospective financial consequences following a divorce.

Divorce Mediation

Same-sex marriages are subject to the tensions and disputes that incentivize divorces. If a marriage isn’t working out, then it’s likely that there are “hard feelings” that make peaceful negotiation difficult. Divorce mediation is available for couples that are unable to come to terms amicably. Authority is not revoked from either party, rather, discussions are facilitated by a mediator who is trained to ensure mutually productive communication between spouses experiencing a tense divorce.

Legal Representation

Whatever the issues, all Tennessee citizens are entitled to a fair trial regardless of sexual preference. At Turner Law Offices, P.C., our lawyers have the knowledge, training, and experience to handle all marital issues!  Our family law attorneys have worked with same-sex couples for years in navigating the complicated legal framework under prior law.  The compassion and commitment of our friendly attorneys will help you get to a better place, whatever your situation may be. Call today for your no obligation Free Initial Consultation or request online.

(615) 259-2660


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