Trusted And Compassionate Ohio LGBTQ Divorce And Family Law Attorneys
The June 26, 2015 decision by the United States Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal in all states. For same-sex couples, the right to get married comes with the potential for them to be faced with the same issues that straight couples face – divorce, property division, domestic violence, adoption, child support, spousal support and child custody.
At Sowald Sowald Anderson Hawley & Johnson, we understand LGBTQ rights as related to Ohio divorce and family law matters. Throughout the divorce process, we will treat you with dignity and respect while we work to protect your rights as a parent or spouse.
LGBTQ Couples Face Unique Issues In Divorce
LGBTQ couples face issues arising from domestic partnerships, LGBTQ divorce, cohabitation agreements and co-custody/co-parenting agreements.
There is also the possibility that more complicated issues may arise if one of the parties is the biological parent of the child and the other party is not.
Child custody matters and questions about surrogacy, egg or sperm donor, adoption and the date of the child’s birth all can affect parenting plans. If the child or children are from a previous relationship or were born outside of the dates of the marriage, this will present additional hurdles to the creation of a parenting plan.
When One Parent Has Identified As A Step-Parent
If you were legally married somewhere outside of Ohio before June 26, 2015 later and moved to Ohio, your marriage is legally valid. If you were not legally married and there are children involved from other relationships or if you and your spouse had a nontraditional pregnancy and one of you identified as a step-parent, you may face additional custody challenges.
In some cases in an LGBTQ relationship, one parent may have identified as a step-parent. It is important to remember that currently in Ohio, there are no hard-and-fast rights for anyone who is viewed as a step-parent. Each case is decided individually.
The family law team at Sowald Sowald Anderson Hawley & Johnson can review your situation and advise you on your next best steps given the circumstances of your relationship with the child or children and your spouse or partner.
Why A Shared Custody Order Is Important For LGBTQ Couples
Both state and federal laws will affect custody if there are disputes such as paternity or who the biological or legal adoptive parent is. How this plays out can be influenced by who the judge is and if there is a shared custody order. A shared custody order can help to circumvent issues for two reasons:
- A shared custody order legally acknowledges the value of the non-biological parent’s role.
- A shared custody order affirms this parent will remain involved in the life of the child because this parent plays a vital role, and it is, therefore, in the child’s best interests to maintain this relationship.
Both marriage and divorce for LGBTQ couples in Ohio are relatively new. This means the laws affecting these legal processes are constantly changing and evolving quickly. The lawyers at Sowald Sowald Anderson Hawley & Johnson have experience with the issues faced by LGBTQ couples and are aware of and closely follow the changes in this area of state and federal law.