Since the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling which guaranteed the right to marriage for all, countless same-sex marriages took place nationwide. Unfortunately, however, not every marriage stands the test of time and LGBT couples are no exception to divorce. While many same-sex couples face similar obstacles that heterosexual couples do, such as alimony and property division, there are some distinct difficulties that often arise in LGBT divorce. Our Collin County LGBT divorce lawyers of O’Neil Wysocki strongly believe every family deserves to be treated with integrity and understanding during this challenging and painful transition.
While every divorce is uniquely demanding, same-sex couples facing this emotionally and financially draining experience must address a number of distinctive issues. For example, many same-sex marriages once began as domestic partnerships, some adopted children together, others conceived children via assisted reproduction or surrogacy, and some were married under common law. The intricate legalities involved in LGBT marriage and divorce can further complicate these matters.
One of the most sensitive and challenging issues to resolve in LGBT divorce is the issue of child custody. When a same-sex couple welcomes a child via surrogacy or adoption, both partners must establish their parental rights or risk facing a dire situation in case of divorce or death. Oftentimes, only one partner in the marriage legally adopts the child, and though the other plays a parental role in the child’s life this does not amount to anything in the eyes of the law.
In a divorce, determining parentage and the legal right to a child can quickly become extremely complicated. For example, if one partner adopted the child in question before same-sex marriage was recognized in the state of Texas, the parent who is not listed on the child’s birth certificate will likely be forced to fight for his or her parental rights regarding visitation, custody, etc. However, the state permits same-sex adoptive parents to revise their child’s birth certificate to list both names. It is important to note that the safest way to guarantee legal parenthood over your child is to formally and legally adopt them. Without taking this important step, you risk your parental rights being disputed by your ex throughout the divorce process.
As a family law firm focused on protecting and promoting your best interests, we at O’Neil Wysocki are wholly committed to helping struggling exes find the closure and conclusion they deserve. Whether you are amicable with your ex or cannot stand to be in the same room as them, rest assured our trusted Collin County LGBT divorce lawyers have the skill and understanding to successfully resolve your needs and concerns. Allow us to fight for the outcome you and your family deserve.
If you would like to schedule an initial case evaluation with a member of our firm, call 972.852.8000 today.