Family law has expanded to include a wide range of relationships such as same sex marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships and adoptions. California is on the forefront of passing laws to empower the LGBTQ community, creating a complex body of the jurisprudence that requires the assistance of lawyers experienced with family law matters in the LGBTQ community. If you’re a lesbian, gay man, bisexual, transgender or queer individual seeking a relationship dissolution, parenting time, child support, spousal support or have other family law issues, it’s important to hire an attorney with an understanding of the LGBTQ community and the applicable law. Envision Family Law, LLP is dedicated to serving the needs of the LGBTQ community.
LGBTQ Relationship Dissolution
There are many types of formal and informal agreements that can be entered into by LGBTQ couples, each with their own applicable laws. Same sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships each have different legal implications for dissolution that can be litigated in courts if the couple cannot reach an agreement. LBGTQ couples that are formally married are subject to the same rules of dissolution as traditional marriages but are more likely to involve cutting-edge legal issues such as surrogacy and frozen eggs/sperm that most family law attorneys have not yet encountered. Transgender couples are getting married and having children, expanding the concept of what it is to be a mother or father. LGBTQ people looking to end their relationship are helped best by an attorney that closely follow the developments in California family law that impact dissolution of marriages, civil unions and domestic partnerships.
LGBTQ Family Planning and Child Custody
There are many family planning issues that are more common or unique to the LGBTQ community. For example, if you’re planning to employ a surrogate to carry your baby, it’s important have an airtight contract that includes appropriate provisions for:
- Compensation, including provisions for invasive procedures, going on bedrest, carrying multiples, etc.
- Surrogate responsibilities for maintaining their health;
- Issues surrounding the necessity of terminating the pregnancy and
- Who will be present at prenatal appointments and the birth.
If you’re a transgender man that’s planning to have a baby, it’s important to ensure that your legal status as the child’s father is established as the hospital may erroneously presume that you’re the mother because you are giving birth. Changing your gender marker on your birth certificate, legally changing your name, speaking to the hospital in advance or giving birth at an LBGTQ friendly birthing center are all options that should be considered. If your spouse or domestic partner is cisgender, it’s important to know that your transgender identity cannot be used against you in determining child custody or parenting time regardless of the status of your transition.
California LGBTQ Family Law Attorney
Envision Family Law, LLP is dedicated to supporting the family law needs of the LGBTQ community. Our attorneys are experienced with the issues that impact the practice of family law for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and queer people in California.