Ever since 2015, when same-sex marriage was legally allowed for anyone in the United States, same-sex couples were provided the same right to be legally married, and as a result, they were also provided with the same right to be divorced. However, because Virginia had a history of opposing same-sex marriage, that fact can still play a role in the division of assets.
When did you get married?
Most opposite-sex couples have always known that marital assets are not acquired until after the marriage. However, because same-sex couples were not allowed to legally married, they were more likely to move in together, purchase homes together, and otherwise pool their assets. For many same-sex couples, they treated their relationship as a marriage. But because their marriage was not legally recognized, all of those assets acquired prior to their marriage being recognized as legal, are not likely marital property and therefore, are not likely subject to division as part of a divorce action. There may be other ways to divide those assets, but without a mutual agreement, the court handling the divorce will not likely have jurisdiction to determine the division of those previously acquired assets.
If you are in a same-sex marriage and you and your spouse acquired assets prior to your legally recognized marriage, it is important to understand all of your legal options, even before a separation or divorce is contemplated.