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Prenuptial agreements important if gay marriage is legalized

While the future of same-sex marriage in Michigan is of yet undecided, so is the future of same-sex divorce. In our society, it is simply a matter of practicality that if we are to consider marriage for non-traditional unions, options for divorce should also be considered. For now, legal cohabitation agreements are the most common method of formalizing a union between gay or lesbian partners in Michigan.

If marriage does become allowed for same-sex couples in Michigan, the need for prenuptial agreements is high according to a recent media post. The author indicates such an agreement is even more critical for gay and lesbian couples than their heterosexual counterparts. One reason for this is due to the fact that it may be some time before same-sex marriage is legal and treated equally in all 50 states, if ever. The uncertainty about what laws may or may not govern a split should it happen can leave couples highly vulnerable.

Children of same-sex couples may not always be identified as equally both partners’. In the case of gay and lesbian adoption where both partners adopted a child together, this may not be as much of an issue but if a child is biologically one partner’s, the lines become less clear. In cases like these, decisions child custody or support could easily be unfair to different parties, especially the children. A pre- or post-nuptial agreement for a same-sex couple could help to clarify such relationships, preventing unnecessary challenges later on.

Gay or lesbian couples who intend to marry if it becomes allowed in Michigan may think about discussing a prenuptial agreement with an attorney. Doing so may be one of the smartest things they ever do.

Source: Huffington Post, “When the Vows Break: Why Pre-Nups Are Essential for Same-Sex Marriage,” Steve Lake, December 6, 2013

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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