After the Supreme Court made their decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states, couples and family law attorneys alike were presented with a new challenge—how the divorce process will change if the couple separating is part of the LGBT community.
Over the past couple of years, family law attorneys have dealt with a number of different conflicts related to this new family dynamic. However, while many of the same issues remain the same regardless of gender, the most significant challenge in a same-sex divorce is child custody.
While New York law makes the assumption the child of a heterosexual married couple is the product of their marriage, the same assumption isn’t made for a same-sex couple. If 2 women marry, one of the spouses might be the biological mother, and the other will have to adopt the child to be legally bound to its care. Likewise, with a same-sex couple involving 2 men, one might be the biological father, but the other will have to adopt the child to establish legal paternity.
Much of the same conflict can happen with couples who never marry at all. Typically, legal battles arise if legal parentage was never established before the couple decides to separate. The biological parent can deny visitation and custody, while the non-biological parent can deny child custody payments.
A skilled Dutchess County same-sex divorce lawyer can help you and your family negotiate the divorce process. It is possible to establish parentage even after the divorce process begins, but you might need the help of an experienced advocate to help the divorce go more smoothly. Talk to us about the specifics of your situation, and we can offer you qualified advice regarding your best course of legal action.
Contact us at (845) 605-4330 or fill out our online form to schedule a case consultation today.