In Kansas and across the United States, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015, changed everything for same-sex couples. After that date, same-sex marriage was the law of the land, and marriage licenses were finally available for gay and lesbian couples in our state. At The Henry Law Firm, P.A., we’ve long understood that each family is unique. No matter how your family is configured, we are here to serve. At our firm, LGBT clients receive the same highly personalized legal services from experienced attorneys who are committed to sharing your journey. We guide you through every step of the legal process, anticipating and removing impediments to your goals and working tirelessly to deliver positive results.
Technically speaking, there is no such thing as same-sex divorce. When a same-sex couple dissolves their marriage, the process is no different from a traditional couple’s divorce. One party files a petition, and the other files a response. The parties attempt to negotiate a settlement agreement on various issues — alimony, child custody, child support and division of property. If they are unsuccessful in reaching a settlement, they must litigate outstanding issues in court.
As your legal counsel, we provide trustworthy advice based on more than 20 combined years of family law experience. We do everything possible to safeguard your rights and deliver a favorable outcome.
The most heart-wrenching family law cases involving same-sex couples arise when there are disputes over parental rights. When a child is born to a male husband and female wife, parentage is automatic. However, same-sex couples often have to take additional steps to legalize their relationship with the child and acquire parental rights.
For example, if a child is born to a lesbian couple, only the birth mother is the legal parent. The mother’s partner must take affirmative steps through a second-parent adoption to establish parental rights. A party who fails to take this step to become a legal co-parent has no enforceable rights. If the couple divorces, the natural mother can take the child and refuse the ex-spouse custody or visitation.
The law of Kansas is unfortunately murky in this area. Agencies can refuse to allow a gay couple to adopt a child together, but can grant adoption rights to a gay individual. This leaves the partner/spouse at a severe legal disadvantage. However, our attorneys can help by drafting a marital or cohabitation agreement that bestows custody or visitation rights on the other partner. The legal process can seem daunting, but putting action off leaves you in a compromised position. Our attorneys are here to help you secure your place in the life of the child you love.
Same-sex couples enjoy more rights than ever, but those rights are best protected with the help of skilled legal counsel. The Henry Law Firm, P.A. provides reliable legal advice to keep you secure now and in the future. Call us at 913-381-5020 or contact our Overland Park office online to schedule a consultation with one of our family law attorneys.