GAY/LESBIAN AND COUPLES LAW
DIVORCE OR SEPARATION
When your marriage or domestic partnership ends, you may have to file for a divorce with the Superior Court of California. In the court proceeding, spousal support/partner support and the division of your marital/partnership assets are determined.
It is best, however, and much less expensive, to work out an amicable settlement agreement before you even file for divorce. You then can dissolve your marriage by filing all the necessary documents with the court but without appearing before a judge. One of my greatest strengths is negotiation skills-- I have negotiated many settlement agreements without having to go to court at all. Maybe I can help you do this too.
If you do, however, have to go before a judge, I can help the judge see your point of view and, hopefully, get a court order in your favor. I pride myself on being fair and judicious but can be intelligently aggressive if necessary.
Sometimes gay/lesbian or heterosexual couples have been together for many years and then they have gotten married or have never gotten married. If you have been married for a short time, you may have little if any community property rights and no right for spousal/partner support. You may, however, have property and spousal support rights under the California Marvin cases (or another state's palimony laws). I can educate you about your rights and also file an action if necessary to get you your share of the property you and your spouse/partner or non-spouse/partner have accumulated over the years and get you monthly support payments.
It's all become very complicated but not so complicated that my experience can't be used to help you.
PRE AND POST-MARITAL/DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENTS
If you are planning to get married or register as domestic partners and one of you has a great deal more money and/or property than the other or more earning power, you might want to consider drafting an agreement so that just in case things don't work out, you don't have to pay for it for your entire life.
You can work out the terms of the agreement yourselves—I just will let you know what has to be done to make the agreement legally sound and will draft the agreement. It is much better and less expensive to work things out amicably BEFORE a breakup then during one when you are angry or hurt.