Family Law Attorneys Equipped To Serve The Needs Of LGBTQ Families

Same-sex marriage became legal nationwide in 2015 following a ruling by the United States Supreme Court. Since then, same-sex marriage – and divorce – has been available to LGBTQ couples throughout Ohio. Because marriage, divorce and child custody laws were designed around heterosexual relationships, however, LGBTQ spouses and families often face unique challenges.

If you are facing a same-sex divorce or other family law issue, you can feel confident working with our lawyers at Stagnaro Hannigan Koop Co, LPA. They proudly serve clients from all types of families and partnerships and are strong allies of the LGBTQ community. Our attorneys understand the complexities surrounding same-sex divorce and related matters, and we can help you pursue the best resolutions available in your case.

Complications Related To Child Custody

LGBTQ relationships are more likely than those among heterosexual couples to involve parentage through adoption, egg/sperm donation or surrogacy. It is often the case that only one parent is biologically related to the child or children.

This doesn’t mean that the non-biological parent is without any rights, however. If you are a stepparent or are otherwise not biologically related to your children, our attorneys can help you understand your legal options for seeking custody or parenting time. Conversely, we also help biological parents protect their own rights and seek custody agreements in the best interests of their children.

What Happens To Frozen Embryos In Divorce?

Advancements in assisted reproductive technology have allowed individuals and couples – including many in the LGBTQ community – to have children that they otherwise couldn’t have. But these advancements have also led to some tricky legal questions, including: What happens to a couple’s frozen embryos in the event of divorce?

In many cases, couples who choose to freeze their embryos sign contracts specifying ownership or disposal in the event of divorce. Absent such a contract, the embryos could potentially be treated as marital property. While there have been some important court rulings to serve as precedent, this is still a relatively new area of law in Ohio. Therefore, it’s important to work with an attorney, like those at our firm, who understands the nuances in these legal decisions and stays up to date on changes in the law.

It Can Be Challenging To Correctly Classify Marital Property

Ohio is an “equitable distribution” state, meaning that marital assets must be divided equitably in divorce. Generally speaking, marital assets are those acquired by either spouse during the marriage, and separate assets are those acquired prior to marriage. Many LGBTQ couples had been together for years or decades before they were legally allowed to get married. This reality can complicate the asset division process because many LGBTQ couples were commingling assets well before they were married.

When you hire us, our attorneys will work closely with you to identify and correctly classify assets as either martial or separate. If pre-marriage assets should be reclassified as marital property, then our lawyers can help you petition the court to do so. Their goal is securing a fair and equitable division of assets that accurately reflects your unique situation.

Mediation And Collaborative Law Can Be The Best Approach For Many Couples

Litigation used to be the only way to get a divorce. The problem is that litigation is adversarial by design. And, because decisions are left to a judge, it is risky for both parties. Many of our clients – regardless of the type of marriage they are in – find that mediation and collaborative law are two ideal alternatives to litigation.

These methods allow both parties to have control over the outcome and often lead to more customized and detailed agreements. This can be especially important for couples ending an LGBTQ marriage, as the divorce process contains additional complications.

Contact Us Today To Discuss Your Legal Options

Based in Cincinnati, Stagnaro Hannigan Koop, serves clients throughout the surrounding areas of Ohio. To tell our lawyers your story and learn how they can help you find a workable resolution to your family law matter, contact us and schedule an initial consultation. Just call 513-813-0627 or reach out online.