Rights and Protections for LGBTQ Couples and Their Families
We have recently celebrated two major wins for LGBTQ equality across the United States. While New Jersey has offered civil unions since 2007, the fight for national, unrestricted marriage equality continues. Since the repeal of DOMA Section 3 on June 26, 2013, and the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling on June 26, 2015, all states are required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and are required to recognize those issued to LGBTQ couples by other states. The details of the legal impact of these recent changes are still being sussed out, and many nuances are being decided on a case-by-case basis. All these changes can make it difficult to understand just what your family needs.
At The Micklin Law Group, we’re dedicated to the research; we have the legal experience to argue the best terms for your family; and we’re committed to helping each and every client navigate the complexities of the law.
Couples and individuals seek a family law attorney for many reasons, from the joys of adoption to the difficulties around divorce. We understand how complex family matters can get, especially within the LGBTQ community. With all the recent legal changes that impact same-sex couples, now is the time to protect your family, and yourself, with the support of the trusted and experienced team at The Micklin Law Group.
Whether looking to add a new family member, or wanting to ensure parental rights for a non-biological parent, adoption is a huge, and still necessary part of family life for same-sex parents. Since the Obergefell ruling, any state laws banning or restricting adoption by same-sex couples have been essentially overruled. And, while marriage equality is a huge step towards recognizing all families, it does not automatically create parental rights. A relatively simple Second Parent Adoption process is the most common and permanent way to protect your family. We strongly recommend same-sex parents meet with us to discuss their situation in order to ensure legal protections are in place for both/all parents.
We have decades of experience in divorce cases, and all the related details including custody, property division, child support, alimony, and any post-decree modifications. We’re also more than comfortable taking on those cases where the marriage was not recognized legally in other states, or other scenarios unique to same-sex couple divorce, including dissolution of a civil union.
Historically, estate planning has been one of the few ways for same-sex couples to attempt to replicate the rights and protections afforded those with federally recognized marriages. Now that marriage is the law of the land, laws regarding property, intestacy laws (which govern the descent of property when a person dies without a will), myriad tax laws, and more apply to all married couples.
Moving forward, the 2015 Supreme Court ruling will simplify estate planning for same-sex couples. But, things can get complicated with outdated contracts, or transactions that took place prior to a marriage being recognized by the state of New Jersey, or the federal government. We recommend invalidating past agreements and creating new pre- or post-nuptial agreements, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, etc., now that marriage is available to all.
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Sound overwhelming? Let us help. We’d love to discuss the details of your unique situation in a free consultation. We’re confident we will win your trust.