In 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is a constitutional right, making it legal across all fifty states. The Court’s ruling was a huge milestone in the gay and lesbian community and it changed the legal rights of same-sex couples in New Jersey. At the Law Office of Rachel S Cotrino, our attorneys help the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community with issues such as securing parental rights and adoption so they can enjoy the same benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy.
Same-sex divorces can become more complicated than other divorces because of the following issues:
Adopted Children – If the child or children are not the biological children of the parents, they are still held to the same child custody standards as anyone else. However, if only one parent is officially the legal parent of the child, complex issues can arise if the other parent fights for custody.
Biological Child of One Parent – In some cases, the child is the biological child of one parent and the other party may be a step-parent or the adoptive parent of his or her partner’s biological child.
Children of Unmarried Couples – Same-sex couples may have a domestic partnership, a civil union, or may not have a “legally recognized’ relationship at all. These circumstances create challenging legal issues surrounding LGBT child custody.
A single parent adoption allows for an individual to pursue adoption from the state or the birth parent. This is a great option for many people and allows them to give a loving and caring home to a child. You and your partner may be looking to experience the joy of parenthood together. Our attorneys can assist you in meeting that dream. A couple can pursue a joint adoption which will allow them to both be considered the legal parents. For some, your spouse may already have a child from a previous relationship, a child that they adopted before or a child conceived with artificial reproduction technology. In these cases, we can pursue what is known as second-parent adoption or co-parent adoption, whereby you may be granted rights as the child’s parent and you are viewed as the equal parent along with your partner.
When it comes to LGBT family law issues, it is important to have a lawyer that is well versed in the laws of New Jersey pertaining to your case. At The Law Office of Rachel S. Cotrino, our attorneys have significant experience handling divorce and other family law issues involving same-sex couples. Contact us today for a consultation.