The family law system in the United States is often focused on “traditional” or “nuclear” families, which involve a married husband and wife who may share one or more children. However, modern families come in all shapes and sizes. When spouses, unmarried partners, children, or other family members are part of the LGBTQ+ community, they may encounter some unique legal issues, and they may be unsure about the best ways to protect their rights, resolve the disputes they encounter, and ensure that they will be able to maintain important family relationships. When managing LGBTQ+ family law issues, it is important for families to work with an attorney who can provide the creativity, dedication, and experience necessary to address their specific circumstances.
At the Law Office of Kelly Koch, we believe your family deserves the best, and we dedicate our resources to helping the LGBTQ+ community in Nueces County and surrounding areas in matters involving family law. We are dedicated to helping parents maintain relationships with their children and protecting the rights of those who are involved in legal matters. We would be proud to be the firm that represents you and your loved ones, and we pledge to provide you with the quality legal help you deserve, no matter your situation.
Even though same-sex couples and others in the LGBTQ+ community have been forming strong family relationships for decades, they have only recently received recognition in the legal system. Same-sex marriage was legalized by the United States Supreme Court in 2015, and since then, LGBTQ+ couples have been able to enjoy the same rights and privileges as opposite-sex spouses.
However, same-sex couples may encounter some unique issues as they get married, add children to their family, or end their marriages through divorce. If a couple had been together for multiple years before they were legally allowed to be married, there may be some uncertainty about the actual length of their marriage or whether certain assets they own are considered to be community property. Because community property includes assets or debts that were acquired after a couple was legally married, and this property must be divided between spouses in the event of divorce, spouses will want to be sure that all applicable assets are included in these considerations. Since Texas law recognizes common law marriage, a couple may have been considered to be legally married if there is evidence that they agreed to be married, they represented themselves to others as married, and they lived together in the state of Texas in a relationship that was equivalent to a marriage.
LGBTQ+ parents may also encounter issues related to child custody if they decide to divorce or separate. If both partners are the legal parents of a child, they will be able to enforce their parental rights, share in legal conservatorship, and have reasonable visitation time. Child support orders may also be established to ensure that both parents will contribute toward meeting their children’s needs. However, there are some situations where a person may be the biological parent of a child, but their partner may not be the child’s legal parent. In these cases, our lawyers can help parents determine how to proceed, and we will work to resolve disputes, preserve parent/child relationships, and help parents take the correct steps to protect their children’s best interests.
Our firm helps LGBTQ+ families address multiple types of issues related to marriage, divorce, child custody, and related matters. We can help parents complete adoptions, including stepparent adoptions, and we can assist with name changes following a marriage or divorce. We can assist with any other concerns that families may need to resolve in family court or other situations. To set up a consultation and get the legal help you need, call us at 361-882-8000 or fill out a contact form.