Equality in marriage was a huge leap in many ways, but we still have a long way to go before same-sex couples experience real legal equality. Just like couples of the opposite sex, same-sex couples wish for things like a family or being married. However, there are many legal issues that can stand in the way for those in the LGBTQ community. Keep reading below to find out some of the most common family law issues that same-sex couples face.
An option many same-sex couples choose is to have a child by one spouse in order to become parents. Biological parents are automatically given full parental rights, but the non-biological parent may not be given these same rights – even if their name is on the birth certificate. In an event like this, the non-biological parent may have to go through a co-parent adoption to get their rights. Some states grant non-biological parents’ rights without a co-parent adoption but it does NOT mean other states will honor this right. For instance, if you leave state for a vacation and your kid is injured, you may not be able to access them in the hospital without having “parental rights” according to the current state you are in and their laws. However, a legal adoption is recognized in every state.
Did you know that same-sex couples have fewer options when it comes to adoption as opposed to heterosexual couples? Heterosexual couples are able to adopt a child through pretty much any agency, while same-sex couples often get denied the same opportunity by many agencies in the United States. Adoption agencies can deny children to gay couples because of their religious views and on the views of the biological mother who is putting the child up for adoption. Needless to say, when it comes to adoption same-sex couples are presented with fewer options and unfortunately, discrimination.
Married same-sex couples are able to file federal incomes tax returns together but it can be complicated if the couple is united by a civil union or domestic partnership. During these circumstances it is best to use an accountant who can show you what options are available, at least for the first year of filing in order to steer clear of mistakes.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a family law issue, Stephen T. Holman is here to help. We can provide legal guidance for same-sex couples and help you no matter the situation. Contact our office today for more information.
Stephen T. Holman, Senior Partner, and Justin T. Holman, Partner, are committed to providing the best legal service in Pensacola, Destin, Pace and Cantonment, FL in a variety of legal areas including Family Law and Personal Injury. We specialize in Fathers’ Rights and will be there every step of the way to fight for your rights. Our office is located at 1940 W. Saint Mary Avenue, Pensacola, FL 32501. Contact us now for a free consultation at 850-435-6909 or go online at www.HolmanFirm.com.