When two people in Clinton Township are joined together in marriage, the absolute last thing on their mind is that this relationship will end. However, for many, this will occur. Maybe a spouse is discovered to be less than honest, or is an abuser. Perhaps, the couple just naturally drifts apart and doesn’t know how to regain what has been lost. When the time comes for them to make this painful decision, there are many things that they must do, and one of these is to serve the other person with divorce papers.
You have been involved in a relationship with another person of the same sex in Clinton Township. Together, you decided that you wanted to be parents. Your partner contributed the sperm or was inseminated, and therefore is the biological parent. On the other hand, you have no biological connection to the child and you never legally adopted the child. Do you have rights as a de facto parent if the relationship has ended?
The Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in 2015 led to changes in the handling of same-sex unions in Michigan and the rest of the country. One thing that also changed: how same-sex divorce was handled. According to the Huffington Post, the state statutes in play prior to the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage made divorcing for these couples difficult.
If you have been in a serious, long-term relationship with a partner of the same sex for any length of time in Clinton Township, the topic of marriage may have come up, even before it was legal in Michigan. Although options were limited in the past, couples may have decided to make their marriages official with a license from another state, or have a ceremony in Michigan even though it did not legalize the union. Whether you chose one of these paths or waited until the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, deciding to divorce your spouse now may still be more difficult than it would be for a heterosexual couple.
Now that marriage is no longer banned for same-sex couples in Michigan, some couples who have been married in other states are finally having those ceremonies legally recognized. Other long-established couples may be taking advantage of that right for the first time. Along with the right to marry comes the right to divorce, but the length of the relationship for these couples may be in sharp contrast to the length of the state-recognized marriage. Time magazine points out that many questions may soon arise about how divorce and family courts will weigh issues that typically contribute to alimony and property division for these same-sex couples.
Parents who have made the difficult decision to end their relationship in Michigan may face many emotional struggles. As a parent who has been in a relationship with a person of the same sex, you may experience unique legal issues that make this time even more challenging. At the Law Offices of Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C., we understand that the recent changes in laws and the lack of precedent in many cases can create uncertainty for LGBT parents who have child custody issues.
When parents are able to agree to a co-parenting plan that works in the child’s best interests, a judge often approves it. However, sometimes custody battles involve legal issues that have nothing to do with the emotional, physical or psychological needs of the child or the parents. In a case in Kent County, Michigan, involving same-sex parents, questions over parental rights are even more complicated.
Since the legalization of gay marriage with the Supreme Court ruling in June that lifted the ban in Michigan and 12 other states, same-sex couples in Michigan have been celebrating this right. When same-sex couples in the state have domestic issues, the laws governing their legal separation and child custody issues are not yet clear. This has introduced new challenges for the state’s court systems.
Although 37 states and Washington D.C. already recognized same-sex marriages before the historic Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2015, Michigan was not one of them. Without legal recognition, a same-sex couple did not have the rights, privileges and protections associated with marriage, such as health care coverage, adoption and Social Security survivor benefits. Although a marriage license is now available to couples of any gender, opponents predict that the decision will only lead to more litigation.
Although laws in many states have become more favorable to same sex couples in recent years, a number of challenges remain for some couples. At The Law Offices of Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C., we are well aware of the various legal issues that same sex couples often face and we work hard to help people who are experiencing them firsthand understand their rights and pinpoint the best course of action. In Clinton Township, Michigan, and throughout the United States, it is very important for same sex couples who are facing legal challenges to closely assess the ins and outs of their situation and take the right steps.