On June 26th, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was to be legally recognized in all 50 states. As a result, Michigan, where same-sex marriage had formerly been illegal, is now legally required to recognize marriages between same-sex couples.
While this was a great victory for same-sex couples and their supporters throughout the state, legalization of same-sex marriage brought with it all of the complexities of newly passed legislation. For traditional, heterosexual couples wishing to obtain a divorce, arrange custody agreements, or determine spousal support, the process has been streamlined by years of legislative and judicial process. But for same-sex marriage, the process is very new, and often involves a certain amount of uncertainty and ambiguity.
With Same-Sex Marriage Comes Divorce
With marriage, same-sex marriage or traditional, often comes divorce. And with divorce come all of the attending issues, like asset division, custody agreements, and spousal support. These can be very stressful to negotiate for families struggling with the emotional impact of a divorce. It usually requires an experienced attorney in order to ensure that your rights are fully protected. As family law attorneys, we have many years of experience in the field of family law, and have successfully negotiated a great many settlements for divorcing couples.
The legal procedures of a same-sex divorce are generally going to be the same as in a heterosexual divorce. Parting spouses will have to negotiate on the terms of their divorce, and have court-sanctioned approval of the settlement they agree on. We encourage all of our clients to collaborate with their soon-to-be-ex spouses, working to reach a viable divorce settlement. Sometimes, however, this isn’t possible. If a divorce becomes contested, and the spouses can’t reach an agreement, our attorneys are prepared to fight for our clients, protecting their best interests in divorce court litigation.
The area of same-sex family law, and gay and lesbian divorce, is in it’s infancy in Michigan. With the legalization of same-sex marriage having occurred only recently, very few same-sex couples have had the opportunity to pursue divorce. But in reality, it is likely to gather momentum in coming years. Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples are going to need the best representation available.
Should the time come when you and your gay or lesbian spouse decide to end your marriage, you will need qualified, experienced representation. Call us. We are here to help.
Prenuptial Agreements for Same-Sex Couples
In the event of a divorce, a prenuptial agreement provides the couple and the court with direction as to how assets and debts should be divided. Division of assets is a complex and very emotional issue for a married couple to manage. For this reason, many couples choose to create a prenuptial agreement that details exactly which items and assets will be assigned to which person, should the marriage end.
In addition, for many same-sex couples who have been with their partners for many years, long before same-sex marriage was legalized, a prenuptial agreement offers other benefits. By providing recognition to all of the joint property owned by that couple, who have invested many years in their relationship, it preserves and protects the assets that helped to lay the foundation for their shared future together.
As family law attorneys, we are proud to serve Michigan’s LGBT community in all of their marriage and divorce related needs. Whether you and your partner are just starting out and need help preparing for same-sex marriage, or are choosing to part ways and end your legal union, we are here to help you, every step of the way.
Adoption, Custody, and Visitation Concerns
During many same-sex marriages, couples choose to have children, as is their right, through either adoption, surrogacy, or biological donor. However, regardless of the method they choose for having children, should they decide to end the marriage, they will be forced to address the same issues faced by all divorcing couples with children. This would include custody agreements, child support payments, and visitation schedules. But for same-sex couples, the complexities are often even greater.
Unlike the average traditional marriage, where the children are usually biologically the product of both parents, in a same-sex marriage this isn’t usually the case. For example, for a lesbian couple where one parent carries the baby as a result of a biological donor, that child would legally belong only to that parent, unless the other parent was able to successfully attain a legal adoption.
Due to Michigan’s discriminatory gay adoption law (HB 4088, 4089 and 4090), same-sex couples are faced with considerably greater challenges when attempting to legally adopt children. This can directly impact the way in which a custody agreement would be handled during a divorce.
As with all divorces where children are a factor, traditional or nontraditional, we will work towards the most amicable arrangement possible, where the best interests of the children are maintained as vitally important. Family, whether together or parted, is of critical importance. As attorneys with decades of family law experience here in Michigan, we are dedicated to serving all families in need of legal assistance with adoption, custody, and visitation concerns.
Kronzek & Cronkright Family Law Attorneys
The family law attorneys at Kronzek & Cronkright, PLLC are proven and trusted in all matters pertaining to family law. Time and again, we have represented our clients through difficult and turbulent cases. Ensuring that their every need is met, and their rights are entirely protected.
Family law is a wide and varied field of law. It includes divorce, custody and visitation issues, spousal support, child support, paternity concerns, neglect and abuse, termination of parental rights, and even issues pertaining to domestic violence. Whatever your needs, we can help. We have considerable experience in all aspects of family law, and will work hard to ensure that you are effectively represented by professional, well-respected attorneys.
Whether you are considering filing for divorce, or your spouse has filed for divorce against you, you will need to hire a very experienced, aggressive divorce lawyer. One that ensures that your rights are protected, and your interests are represented. The divorce process can be very overwhelming and confusing. At Kronzek & Cronkright, our divorce counselors have many years of experience helping clients through this difficult process.
We make it a priority to stay up to date with the latest developments in Michigan divorce laws, and our divorce lawyers consistently put in the time and effort required to represent you well in every aspect of your case.
Kronzek & Cronkright wants every client to be satisfied with their representation and their case outcome. For this reason, we always offer you the opportunity to meet with one of our divorce attorneys for a free initial consultation. This is your chance to learn about us and how we can help you with your case.
Call us today at 1-517-886-1000, or e-mail us today! We are here for you.