Divorce and Custody Battles for LGBT People Require Gay-Friendly Lawyers
Divorce is a stressful experience in just about every circumstance. But same-sex partners going through divorce face, even more, challenges due to ever-changing laws. Child custody battles create even more difficulties. The judge makes the ultimate decision. An LGBT attorney accompanies you through mediation with your ex, so the decisions made benefit all involved. Or, if need be, they can provide appropriate representation when things move to court. Either way, you want a lawyer familiar with the ins and outs of LGBT family law.
A few things are different about LGBT divorce that can make the process more challenging and costly. If the divorce attorney you approach doesn’t ask you the questions outlined below, then they are not knowledgeable about these individual factors and are not the right attorney to represent you.
When Did You Get Together?
Not “What’s the date,” but rather when did your committed relationship start? The state of Rhode Island didn’t recognize same-sex marriage as legal until 2013. Some people waited until after the Obergefell v. Hodges decision granted marriage equality nationwide in 2015. You shared a life with your partner before either of those dates, most likely. These preceding years matter when deciding if one party is entitled retroactive benefits. This issue is relevant regarding property, as well. The timeline of your relationship and joint purchases is vital information. With an accurate timeline, your attorney can protect what is yours and anticipate for what your ex-partner may ask.
Did You Sign a Prenup?
Because their relationships began before Obergefell v. Hodges, several people completed pre- and post- nuptial agreements with their partners to avoid confusion in case of divorce. Prenups often help speed up the stressful process of divorce and help judges make fair decisions based on precedent. If you and your partner did not draft a prenup or postnup, that’s okay. However, it will take more cooperation between both parties to reach a fair and amicable decision regarding property and custody.
Are You Both Legal Parents?
If you are both legal parents of your child or children, then the custody battle should proceed as normal. If one of you is a second parent, that complicates the issue. You will need an attorney who knows the local courts and worked on cases like these before. You also want to find an LGBT attorney who understands the most important thing in custody cases. The child’s best interest is the only thing that matters.
Rhode Island LGBT Attorney Susan Perkins
Attorney Susan T. Perkins built her firm with a commitment to diversity. She has been helping New England as an LGBT attorney for years. She commits to providing fair and honest counsel for her clients. Perkins works on both opposite-sex and same-sex divorces, and she knows the subtle differences that arise during negotiations and mediations.Gay-friendly like Perkins make sure clients understand their rights and obligations during the divorce transition. An expedited option completes the process in about three months so that you can continue your life after marriage.
For more information contact the Law Offices of Susan T. Perkins Esq. to schedule a consultation and learn how Susan T. Perkins can help with LGBT family law or divorce.