At the Law Office of Janice V. Coulter, we want to help you do what’s best for your family, no matter what that family looks like. We have extensive experience in family law, including specialized knowledge of gay and lesbian family law and its unique challenges. To help you be prepared for any legal situation affecting your family, we have put together this article to go over some of these challenges and give you the information you need.
- Child Custody- One issue that can be more complicated for same-sex couples than for opposite-sex ones is child custody. For one thing, opposite-sex couples have an easier route to parenthood than same-sex ones, who typically have to turn to adoption, artificial insemination, or surrogacy. On top of that, in cases of same-sex divorce, deciding who gets custody of the children is often complicated by the lack of a biological relationship between them and one or both parents.
- Divorce- Another part of gay and lesbian family law that can get thorny is divorce. The matter of child custody that we discussed above is one factor in this extra difficulty, but you may also face additional hurdles even if you don’t have children. For example, same-sex partners often have a more difficult time getting a judge to award alimony, as their legal marriage may be much younger than their actual relationship.
- Extended Family – Lastly, since many LGBTQ individuals are estranged from their birth families, many choose to take steps to legally protect themselves, their estates, and their families of choice from interference from their biological relatives. For example, if your parents refuse to recognize your partner as anything but a roommate, we encourage you to reach out to our team to ensure that your estate will go to your loved ones in the event that something should happen to you.