Prior to 2015, the rights of same-sex couples were governed by a patchwork of different laws in different jurisdictions. Then the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges established the right of same-sex marriage across the country. Today, there is no difference in the way courts treat marriages between traditional couples and same-sex couples. However, there are certain wrinkles in the laws covering parent-child relationships that parties to same-sex unions need to know about. At Louis Wm. Martini, Jr., P.C., we provide complete family law services for same-sex couples. You can be confident in our knowledge and experience, as well as our sensitive and respectful management of your issues, as we work toward a positive resolution.
Because there is no longer a legal distinction between types of unions, a couple seeking to dissolve a same-sex marriage goes through the same divorce process as any other couple. One party petitions for the divorce and the other responds. The process proceeds with the couple working to resolve the necessary issues:
The process for dissolving a domestic partnership is essentially the same as a divorce. It is not necessary to dissolve a domestic partnership before entering into marriage with the same person.
We understand how difficult it is to dissolve a relationship that was so meaningful to your life. We provide personalized, sensitive, and professional service throughout the legal process.
Our firm assists same-sex couples looking to start a family or provide legal protections for existing loving relationships. Adoption laws apply equally to same-sex couples, meaning a same-sex couple must go through the same process, passing a home study by a licensed provider. However, laws of the commonwealth do not compel agencies or adoptive parents to treat same-sex couples on an equal footing with traditional couples. Birth mothers considering open adoptions may also have reservations about placing a child with a same-sex couple. We regularly guide our clients to agencies and home study providers who treat them with equal dignity.
In households where one partner is the natural parent of a child, the other partner must establish parental rights or risk losing custody or visitation in the event of divorce. Stepparent adoptions are the commonly used process. However, since a child can only have two legal parents, a stepparent adoption is only possible when the other natural parent is deceased or has parental rights terminated.
Same-sex couples are no different from other couples when it comes to the necessity of protecting their property rights in the event of divorce. We assist our clients by negotiating and drafting valid prenuptial agreements that secure their assets and deliver peace of mind.
Louis Wm. Martini, Jr., P.C. provides professional and personalized family law services for clients in same-sex relationships. Call us at 610-624-4227 or contact our office online to schedule a free consultation. We are conveniently located at 206 West State Street, just a few short blocks from the Delaware County Courthouse.