Handling LGBTQ+ Family Law Issues And Concerns
At Rowe Law Offices, P.C., we understand that LGBTQ+ couples face the same legal issues and concerns as other families. Unfortunately, even with the recognition of gay marriage in Pennsylvania, some laws still treat LGBTQ+ and straight families differently when it comes to issues like child custody and probate. Our attorneys are here to help you deal with the legal challenges you face.
Our team at Rowe Law Offices, P.C., has been helping the LGBTQ+ community for many years to overcome obstacles to estate planning, inheritance, adoption and property division, even when Pennsylvania did not recognize valid same-sex marriages from other states.
Services Available To You
Because same-sex marriage has only recently been recognized in Pennsylvania, there are many legal needs that must be addressed by both new and long-term LGBTQ+ couples in the state. The following are examples of the types of legal issues we handle:
- Marital agreements: In addition to prenuptial agreements for new couples, if you have been in a partnership for many years, you can now seek a midnuptial or postnuptial agreement for your union — even if you have already been married out of state for many years or if you have recently gotten married. These agreements are extremely useful for relationships involving individuals with significant premarital assets or children from a prior relationship.
- Same-sex divorce: Previous to Pennsylvania’s recognition of same-sex marriage, couples who had been married in states recognizing these unions were forced to separate their assets according to partition actions. Now same-sex couples seeking a divorce have the same protections as heterosexual couples, including dividing their property using the protection of the Divorce Code and seeking spousal support or alimony.
- Property division for unmarried couples: Dividing property in the event of a breakup can be difficult, even when you and your partner have not married. We can help you divide your assets fairly by filing a partition action, which essentially is the same as equitable distribution in a divorce.
- Child custody disputes involving same-sex couples: Many same-sex couples choose to have children either through adoption or biologically through one of the partners. In the event of a breakup, one parent can find himself or herself without custody or visitation rights. Even after the recognition of same-sex marriage, paternity and legal parenthood are still important steps that every same-sex couple must face. Without this official recognition, issues can arise regarding not only custody disputes but also child support.
- Estate planning for same-sex couples: Without good estate planning, same-sex couples would not have the same rights a married couple would have in the event of incapacity or death. Although spouses and spousal benefits (such as inheritance of property without taxation) are now available to same-sex couples, it is still a crucial step in safeguarding your legal relationship.
Free Initial Consultation ~ Compassionate Assistance
From our offices in Wyomissing and Lancaster, we serve the Lehigh Valley. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your issues and concerns. It may be important to understand how the new Pennsylvania laws apply to your situation.