Overview

Marriage between two individuals of the same sex is legal and recognized in Minnesota. This means that for all marriages performed on or after August 1, 2013, same sex couples have the same rights to marriage, divorce, marriage benefits and responsibilities as opposite sex couples in Minnesota family court.

However, if you had a commitment ceremony before August 1, 2013, you must apply for a marriage license and marry in an official ceremony to make your marriage legally recognized in Minnesota.

The United States Supreme Court issued a decision in June 2015 that found state level bans on same sex marriage to be unconstitutional. Therefore, same sex marriage is now legal in every state.

Same Sex Divorce

Because same sex couples are treated the same under the law, the process for a divorce remains the same. This process includes the following steps:


Step
01.
Initial Documents
01

Step
02.
Initial Case Management Conference
02

Step
03.
Discovery
03

Step
04.
Mediation / Settlement
04

Step
05.
Motions and Hearings
05

Step
06.
Trial
06

Step
07.
Judgment and Decree
07

The law in Minnesota provides that Minnesota law must be construed to treat spouses of the same sex in the same manner as spouses of opposite sexes in areas of law outside of divorce and family law as well. For example, laws relating to health insurance benefits, hospital visitation, employment benefits, real estate, and inheritance apply equally to same sex spouses.

 

Minor Children

It is also important to note that in order for both parties to be considered parents of any minor children one party brings to the marriage, a second-parent adoption is advisable. It is important to understand that non-biological parents who did not legally adopt their children may risk losing custody during a divorce.

If you are unsure of your legal status as a parent to a minor child, contact an attorney to discuss your specific situation. Same sex couples also have to address issues such as spousal maintenance, parenting time, and other consequences of a divorce in Minnesota.

The challenges posed by same sex divorce are best faced with an experienced attorney by your side. A successful contested divorce requires a lawyer who will strive to achieve your goals. At Clausen & Hassan, our lawyers pride themselves on how they serve our clients. Please reach out today for your free consultation—you can call our office at (651) 647-0087 or contact us by email at info@clausen-hassan.com.