Does Gender Reassignment Impact Divorce?

The name “Jenner” has been in the news a lot lately. Most of us have seen the  magazine cover, and read the tagline “Call me Caitlyn”. Regardless of your positon on the issue, the case of Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlyn Jenner is sure to have wide-reaching implications, some of them legal. For instance, what would the result have been if Jenner’s children were minors? Would the Courts allow custody, and what if Jenner remarried? How would the gender reassignment issue be treated in a divorce? Would Jenner be required to prove his or her gender, and if so, what documentation would be required?

In Arizona, some of these questions have already been answered. And, at least in Hawaii, these questions were answered long before Bruce Jenner became Caitlyn Jenner. In 2012 Thomas Beatie filed for divorce. Sounds simple enough, right? It wasn’t. Beatie’s divorce case was the first of its kind, and included the following unique facts:

●          Beatie was born a woman, but had undergone gender reassignment surgeries.

●          The State of Hawaii granted Beatie and amended birth certificate, to change her gender from female to male.

●          At the time of Beatie’s divorce, there was no legal precedent for how persons who have legally changed their gender would be treated during the divorce.

The question of how to treat Beatie was not related to issues of asset distribution, or whether the divorce should be granted. Rather, the issue was one of children. The processes that allowed Beatie to be recognized as a male, left him able to bear children. Thus, the Court, for the first time was dealing with a “pregnant man”. With scientific advances comes the need for changes in the law that deal with the scientific results. We stay on top of legal trends, as well as social issues that influence the law. Call our office today to discuss the unique factors of your case.

For answers to your questions about divorce, consult a qualified legal professional. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call The Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your appointment.