As an LGBT individual, you are probably very familiar with the complexities in the law surrounding same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage was made legal in North Carolina in 2014 and made legal in the US by the Supreme Court in 2015, meaning that same-sex couples have the same legal benefits as heterosexual couples.
But the law is never black and white when it comes to same-sex marriage and the legal rights of LGBT individuals.
So, how does family law differ for LGBT families?
To start, marriage for same-sex couples is based entirely on the legal start date of their marriage, which means that while a couple may have been together for twenty years, under the law, their marriage only “counts” since 2014. This can mean that issues may arise when determining spousal support and custody.
Although times have changed for the better, there is a lot of instability in the current political climate that may cause a lot of unease for LGBT individuals navigating their rights in family law cases, worried about their rights being taken away. For example, as recently at 2017 lawmakers in North Carolina proposed a bill to prohibit same-sex law in the state.
Navigating the nuances around LGBT family law requires experience and specialized knowledge when it comes to marriage, custody and adoption, marriage-based visas, name changes, gender changes, prenups and especially, divorce. It is important to work with an experienced family law lawyer who understands the specific challenges the LGBT individuals face, to be able to expertly counsel you for the best outcome possible without worrying about discrimination.
The Law Office of Janice V. Coulter provides the support and legal counsel you need to navigate family law as a LGBT individual or couple.