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The 26th of June, 2015 was a memorable day for the gay and lesbian Americans. That is the date on which the Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriages would, from then on, be legal in all 50 states throughout the United States. Nevertheless, at the same time, the law did not include all the details that typically accompany marriage itself.
Gay Marriage: Legal, but Not Simple
Unfortunately, even though the law now makes it legal for people inside of the LGBT community to get married, it didn’t necessarily mean that their journey toward making relationships official and legal would be as simple as it could be for heterosexual couples. For instance, a gay or lesbian couple preparing to get married might have difficulty getting a bakery to bake their wedding cake or the right venue for their wedding because of resistance.
These are examples of the kinds of discrimination members of the LGBT community face. Anyone who believes that they have experienced this type of unfair treatment in Nassau County, New York should get in touch with an experienced LGBT gay LGBT family law attorney to determine their next course of action right away.
LGBT Family Issues
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) couples have some of the same family issues as heterosexual couples. The State of New York Family Court hears and resolves family matters. LGBT couples will need to contact LGBT Family Lawyers. The attorneys will answer any questions about LGBT family issues. The legal professionals know the complexity of family law. They will guide LGBT couples through the legal process. These lawyers will also be able to give you sound legal advice about these LGBT family matters:
The American Community Survey (ACS) is a nationwide study by the U.S. Census Bureau. ACS contains information from surveys and the 2010 U.S. Census. Its brief on Same-sex Couple Households has statistics on same-sex couples. These statistics are by state and same-sex couples with children. Here is some data from the report:
- 594,000 same-sex couples in the U.S
- 169,000 registered domestic partners
- 152,000 (25.7 percent) spouses in same-sex households
- 115,000 of the 594,000 same-sex couples have children
- 89 percent of the 115,000 are children of either partner
New York is one of the 50 states legalizing same-sex marriages. In 2015, the United States Supreme Court made a ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. The Court stated that it is unconstitutional for states to ban same-sex marriages. Each state has its own statutes and laws concerning same-sex marriages. If LGBT partners want to get married, it is wise to seek out the services of an LGBT family law attorney in their state. The legal professional will be able to give advice on the laws and regulations. Here are some family law issues:
- Prenuptial agreement for property and asset separation
- Tax information on filing joint and separate taxes
- Adoption laws for a particular state
- Legal issues on surrogacy
- Estate planning
Beginning in 2011, the process for obtaining marriages licenses in the state of New York was the same for heterosexual and LGBT couples seeking to wed. A couple desiring to wed has to show up in person at the office of a town or city clerk
Defense of Marriage Act
There are federal benefits available for same-sex spouses through the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Each federal agency has its own rules for determining eligibility. The following benefits are available to legal same-sex spouses:
- Social Security Survivor benefits such as retirement or disability
- Federal government lump-sum death benefit for funeral expenses
- Joint income tax return filing
- Exemptions for federal estate and gift taxes
- Combining estate tax exemptions of each spouse
- Tax advantages for surviving spouse such as life estate trusts
- Military benefits such as healthcare, educational help, and death pensions
Immigration benefits are also available for engaged or married same-sex couples. Here are some of the benefits existing for same-sex couples:
- Nonimmigrant visa for foreign partner
- Permanent resident status (green card)
- U.S. citizenship after marriage
Immigration law has some complex laws and regulations. Same-sex couples will need LGBT family law lawyers to help with the immigration process.
The Fair Housing Act prevents discrimination against all renter and home buyers. This act also protects LGBT couples and individuals from discrimination based on sex. In 2017, a Colorado court ruled that LGBT couples and individuals have protection under the Fair Housing Act.
Civil Union and Domestic Partnership
A civil union is another way for same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples to have legal rights. Civil unions were popular during the era when same-sex marriages were legal in a few states. The benefits of civil unions vary from state-to-state. Here are some benefits of a civil union:
- Property ownership
- Healthcare benefits
- Wrongful death
- Tort actions (contract)
- Loss of consortium
- Care after an emergency
Domestic partnerships are for same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples. These couples do not want to get married. It is a popular way for these couples to live together with some rights. Domestic partnerships were also for same-sex couples who lived in states that did not recognize their marriage.
Same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples have some of the same divorce issues. Here are some of those issues:
- Whether there is a prenuptial agreement
- Separation agreement
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Child custody and visitation
There are more challenging matters for same-sex couples wanting a divorce. Each married partner needs to talk to an LGBT Family Law Lawyer. These attorneys have the skills and knowledge involving these special matters.
Same-sex Adoptions in New York
The State of New York allows LGBT individuals and couples to adopt children. Here are some of the LGBT persons that can petition family court for adoption:
- Single LGBT persons
- Same-sex couples
- Adopt partner’s children
- Adopt children of the relationship
LGBT individuals and couples need to talk to LGBT family lawyers for advice about adoptions. The legal professionals know the facts about family law. They will be able to answer any questions about adoptions. The attorneys will handle all the documents and paperwork for a legal adoption.
Nassau County LGBT Family Lawyers know the rules, regulations, and procedures of family law. They will give sound advice on family law. These attorneys will help LGBT couples and individuals with all matters of family law.