Same sex marriages are lawful in every state. The Supreme Court held that the right to marry is fundamental under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Families that have same sex parents theoretically have the same legal rights as opposite sex parents.
Same Sex Parenting and Adoption
If a legally married couple have a child during their marriage, then they are both presumed to be the legal parents of the child. This presumption now applies to same sex parents, regardless of the state you live in. If you were not married when you had a child with a same sex partner, or you remain unmarried it may be best to use second parent adoption or a parentage judgement to establish legal relationship with your child. In second parent adoption someone can adopt his or her partners child. This will ensure same sex parents have equal legal status regarding parenting decisions that opposite sex parents do.
Same Sex Divorce
All states are required to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples on the same terms as they grant them to opposite sex couples. Each state residency requirements for divorce are different, and you will need to meet those requirements regardless of your sexual orientation.
Child Custody and Support for Same Sex Parents
If you are a legal parent ( because you had your child during marriage, you adopted your child, or got a parentage judgement), you have equal rights to seek custody or visitation as any biological parent. In many states where a same sex partner has parented a child, he or she can ask the court for visitation or custody. A legal parent has more rights than one who has acted as a parent but never obtained any type of legal acknowledgement of a relationship to the child. A parenting agreement does not have the same power as other mechanisms to enforce your parenting rights, but it may influence a court’s child custody or visitation decision, depending on jurisdiction.
A resource for LGBT Couples.
Gay and lesbian couples can now see legal recognition of the legitimacy of their relationships, though legal issues of LGBt couples are still arising in the family law context. The law has changed but it takes time for people to accept the changes. You may still need to fight to protect your rights as issues of fairness and equality will remain in society. A legal advocate such as a knowledgeable attorney who can work with the unique legal matters gay and lesbian parents encounter is very important. C.J.Hilliard Law, P.A.can assist you in conflicts and will help assert your rights. From second parent adoption and same sex surrogacy arrangements to child custody cases, child support, and all family law issues, our law firm advocate for LGBT clients and fight to protect their rights.
For compassionate representation in your time of need call for a consultation :