New Jersey LGBT Family Lawyer
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) persons face many of the same family law issues as heterosexual individuals, couples and family units, including marriage, divorce, adoption and prenuptial agreements. The LGBT family lawyers at Herbert & Weiss fully support members the community in exercising their civil rights and are experienced in handling divorce, adoption and other family law matters and the unique issues that may arise for LGBT couples in New Jersey.
Civil marriage for same-sex couples was recognized by the New Jersey courts in September 2013, and in October of that year the State Registrar sent a memo to all local registrars instructing them to immediately start processing marriage licenses for same-sex couples the same as opposite-sex couples. New Jersey already had a domestic partnership law and a civil union law on the books, but the recognition of gay marriage means that same-sex couples have achieved full equality in the eyes of law as regarding the rights, benefits and privileges of civil marriage.
With the legalization of marriage comes the prospect for divorce as well. According to the latest research, the divorce rate among same-sex married couples is about half the rate seen for opposite-sex marriages. Of course, there are presently fewer same-sex marriages to compile statistics on, and up to now, entering into a same-sex marriage took much more effort and a stronger commitment from the parties. As same-sex marriage becomes more common, same-sex divorce may increase accordingly.
In addition to a legal dissolution of the marriage, a divorce can involve the determination of a wide variety of issues, including the division of marital property, child custody and support, and the payment of alimony. Our New Jersey LGBT divorce lawyers provide strong, effective representation across the spectrum of issues that may arise in a divorce proceeding.
Our comprehensive New Jersey family law practice includes helping LGBT couples grow their families through joint adoption. In addition, with the recognition of the constitutional right for same sex couples to marry, the ability of individuals to adopt the child of their spouse or partner in a stepparent adoption should be readily achievable as well.
A prenuptial agreement is an excellent idea in contemplation of any marriage. Deciding in advance issues such as property distribution and alimony can set a couples’ minds at ease, particularly if there is a disparity in the wealth between the parties or if one of the prospective spouses has been married before and went through a tough divorce. We assist LGBT couples in New Jersey with the negotiation and drafting of prenuptial agreements as well as post-nuptial or marital agreements which can be entered into at any time during marriage. For long-term committed couples who are living together without any formal marriage, domestic partnership or civil union, we recommend they consider adopting a cohabitation agreement to avoid any disputes that might later arise.
Experienced Family Lawyers Proudly Supporting the New Jersey LGBT Community
Our law firm is committed to the principles of equality and access to justice for all New Jersey residents, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals. Our family law attorneys are knowledgeable and familiar in dealing with divorce, adoption and other family law matters involving LGBT families in Bergen County and northern New Jersey. For sound advice and effective representation in your family law matter, contact an LGBT family law attorney at Herbert & Weiss in Englewood.