Same Sex Divorce


We have significant experience with San Diego same sex divorce. Since 2013, all couples in California have shared the same rights to marry and divorce, regardless of sexual orientation. If you are in a same-sex marriage and therefore considering a same sex divorce, we are here to help you navigate every aspect of dissolving your relationship, from determining the division of your property to child custody, child support and spousal support.

No Fault State

In California, you are not required to supply an explanation for why you want to divorce, nor do you need to prove that your spouse did something wrong to dissolve your marriage. California is a “no fault” state, meaning that you may divorce simply because your marriage is irretrievably broken, which is usually termed “irreconcilable differences.”

State Requirements

However, in order to file for divorce in California, either you or your spouse must have lived in in the state for the last six months, and in the county in which you file your dissolution petition for at least the past three months. If you do not meet these requirements, for instance because you just arrived in San Diego County, you may still file a petition for legal separation and convert that petition to a dissolution after you have met the residency requirements.

When Will My


Like all divorces in California, by statute, the soonest you can be divorced is six months from the date the petition is filed. Your case may take longer depending on many different factors and your unique situation, but it is important to know that it will take at least six months before it is finalized regardless of your circumstances.

An uncontested divorce – one where you and your spouse have agreed on the issues posed by the breakup of your marriage—is likely to be finalized sooner than dissolution proceeding with unresolved property and custody issues. How well both parties can work together to come to an agreement will significantly impact how quickly your divorce can be finalized

Child Custody


In a same sex divorce as in any divorce, Schaffer Family Law Group will always attempt to negotiate a fair and reasonable parenting plan to avoid costly litigation. Where two parents of the same gender are raising children together, the child custody determination can be more complex, and may depend on the relationship both parents have with the children—not merely their biological connection. Child custody may also depend on whether there was a formal adoption, or efforts were made to adopt. Because the law in this area is constantly evolving, it is important to have experienced and able San Diego family law attorneys to guide you through the same-sex divorce process.

Division of Property


Although dividing property in a dissolution is the same regardless of the sexual orientation of the parties, because same-sex marriages have only been legal for a relatively short time, there may be situations where parties have lived together for a significant period prior to having the ability to legally marry. The disposition of the assets acquired during the time prior to the marriage is not governed by the Family Code. Again, our attorneys have experience that will help you determine how best to resolve property issues arising from a relationship that predated the marriage. Our San Diego family law attorneys will work with you to understand what is considered community property and recommend a strategy for dividing property and other assets (including stock options) and debt