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Same-sex marriage is legal in New York, and it has been since 2011. However, with the changing marital laws comes necessary changes in divorce and other family law topics. The world is changing every day, but there are still family law practices involved the gay and LGBT community that require some amendments and changes. If you are a gay or LGBT family, you might not know your rights are not always protected or even specifically defined in New York. There are legal issues you might encounter, and a gay and LGBT family law attorney can help.
Adoption is one of the biggest legal hurdles for gay and LGBT couples. The problem lies in many adoption agencies more so than New York laws. Adoption agencies are permitted to work within their own rights, their own beliefs, and even the laws in the state in which they are found. If you choose to adopt a child in New York, you might not find you have the same experience as you would using an adoption agency in a state in which the laws are different.
For example, some adoption agencies are faith or religion-based, and they might not work with a couple who is same-sex or even an individual who is gay. This causes problems in the adoption process, and you do have legal rights. An attorney can help walk you through your rights to find out what you can do to help adopt a child and begin a family of your own.
State laws are much more complicated when it comes to gay and LGBT couples. You might not have a traditional family, but the state in which you are working to move, to live, to obtain insurance, or even to adopt a child might not recognize your situation. Some states do, and other states have different laws. An attorney can help walk you through the process of navigating state laws whether they are New York state laws or laws in other states.
This is a problem for many couples in New York as many work in the city but reside outside the city. Many Manhattan workers live in surrounding states where the laws are different. This calls for an attorney to work with and for you to help you fight for your rights starting a family or even finding health insurance as a gay or LGBT person or family.
Marital and divorce Law
The good news for many gay and LGBT couples is the laws are very much on your side when it comes to marriage and divorce. Since same-sex marriages became legal in 2011, the laws have changed tremendously to help couples marry and divorce. While the ideal situation is your marriage will last a lifetime, it’s not always possible.
The biggest problem in any same-sex divorce case is typically the children. Unlike a traditional marriage when the child is both the husband and the wife’s biological child, this is not possible in a same-sex marriage. The child might be adopted by one partner and fully related to the other partner. One partner may have carried the baby but the baby is biologically related to the other partner. This can cause the divorce process to become more complicated if you are not going through an amicable divorce and you want to fight for your child.
Some LGBT couples want to go through gender reassignment surgery. The process is not always easy, it’s not always understandable, and you do have rights you should be aware of. These rights are designed to protect you and to protect your family as you go through this process. A gay and LGBT family law attorney works to help you understand your rights and what you can do to protect yourself during the transition. The process can be made more complicated by the legal issues many people don’t even realize exist, but an attorney can help you navigate these muddy waters.
You’re Not Alone
Oftentimes people in the gay and LGBT community feel alone and on their own when going through many of the issues involved in family law. You are not alone. There are attorneys who specialize specifically in the gay and LGBT community and your rights. Call an attorney to find out what we can help you with, how we can make the process easier, and what rights you are entitled to in and around New York. You have rights, and you have the right to fight for them and for your family.