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The LGBT community has come a long way when it comes to couples rights. Although there have been inroads, there is still quite a ways to go. Although the Supreme Court did declare same-sex marriages legal in 2015, not every right that heterosexuals enjoy was included in this. That fact alone could make divorce and other issues a bit more rocky. Same-sex couples still have to deal with discrimination and other issues. Even with the Supreme Court legislation, some minds concerning the rights of LGBT people will never be changed. Even in divorces, there may be issues with a bit more complexity.
If you are in a same-sex marriage and seeking a divorce, you will need the help of an attorney that has a great deal of experience in these issues. Regardless of the circumstances of your divorce, you are still entitled to receive the same benefits and fairness as any other heterosexual couple.
A good attorney can help individuals in the LGBT community with many divorce-related issues such as child custody, asset division and even spousal support.
Child custody – About 25% of lesbian and gay couples are raising children. The same rules that apply to heterosexual couples apply to same-sex couples. However, if a child was conceived by in-vitro fertilization, the courts will likely rule joint custody. If the child was brought into the relationship by one party, it gets more complicated. At the end of the day, unless the court has a valid reason, the parent who brought the child into the relationship will retain custody.
Property division – Under New York law, the same laws pertaining to property division doesn’t cover same-sex couples. This can prove difficult when dealing with 401K, pension and other issues. While heterosexual couples are allowed to divide pension accounts to avoid fees, same-sex couples cannot. The same goes for capital gains taxes.
Spousal support – Same-sex couples, like straight ones can have support payments established. However, the money is not tax deductible. This is where couples need strong representation to maintain their rights. An attorney steeped in LGBT law can help you avoid many financial pitfalls.
There are also other issues in in divorce surrounding adoption. Since gay and lesbian couples have a number of legal issues that may be different from heterosexuals, it is imperative that you get an attorney as soon as possible. You need to do everything you can to preserve your rights. The legal process can be very tedious, so you will need someone to help guide you through the process.
Members of the LGBT community must do everything they can to make sure they don’t face discrimination. Sadly, some people tend to share the same outdated, archaic views regarding gay and lesbian couples. Unfortunately, this can spill over into the courts during the divorce. This is why retaining the lawyer who deals with LGBT issues is important. This is a person who will go to bat for you. They will provide you with a vigorous defense so that your rights will be preserved.
If you are a member of the LGBT community and going through a divorce, pick up the phone and call today. Do not delay. You will be called in for a free consultation. An experienced attorney will answer all of your questions and address your concerns.