Over the past few decades, individuals in the LGBT community have certainly come a long way. There has been major progress in the laws regarding gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people throughout the United States. The Bronx and all of the New York area is certainly no exception. At the same time, there is still a long road ahead to truly ensure that individuals of the LGBT community have all of the same and equal rights as anyone else.
June 26, 2015 was a huge day for the gay and lesbian Americans when the Supreme Court declared that same sex marriages would, from then on, be legal in all 50 states throughout the country. Yet, at the same time, the law did not include everything that typically accompanies marriage itself. Unfortunately, even though the law now made it legal for people within the LGBT community to get married, it didn’t necessarily mean that their journey toward making relationships official and legal would be as easy as it could be for heterosexual couples. For example, a gay or lesbian couple looking to get married might have difficulty finding a bakery to bake their wedding cake or the right venue for their wedding due to resistance. These are examples of discrimination against the LGBT community and anyone who feels they have experienced this type of unfair treatment in the Bronx, New York should immediately get in touch with an experienced LGBT family law attorney to determine their next course of action.
In addition to those problems, adoption is a huge issue for people within the LGBT community as well. The process can be extremely frustrating and can even end up with the couple not being able to adopt a child. The majority of states don’t have any laws that specifically prohibit same sex couples from adopting children. However, the final decision on such matters generally ends with judges or welfare employees. As a result, adoption agencies may ultimately decide that placing a child with a same sex couple can have a negative impact on its organization, which can make the entire process difficult or even impossible.
Any same sex couple that feels they have been discriminated against when trying to adopt should first ensure that there was discrimination and not something imagined or assumed. Expressing concerns to the person assisting through the adoption process is important. If the individual is not returning calls in a timely fashion, it may simply be that they are very busy with work. The next step, if things are not clear after speaking with that person, is to contact their supervisor or the agency’s president or whomever else may be in charge to see whether they can help. Only after exhausting all of those means should a person contact an LGBT family law lawyer to discuss the situation and potentially take legal action.
Although the marriage process can be complex for people in the LGBT community, getting a divorce can be even more difficult. When a heterosexual couple gets divorced, a judge determines issues involving custody, child support and visitation when the marriage resulted in a child. With same sex couples, this can be extremely complicated, especially if only one party actually adopted the child.
In some situations, the state may not recognize what is known as a “de facto” parent, which relates to the parent who tends to a child’s physical and psychological needs through daily care and affection. Generally, this is the parent who has been in the primary parent role for a considerable amount of time. In many cases, unless the couple planned to have a child together, such as through artificial insemination, either parent could just leave, which would result in no grounds for child support or visitation.
This is a very complicated situation that is also highly emotional for all parties. It’s possible to avoid this issue through second parent adoption or step-parent adoption, which allows the individual to legally adopt their same sex spouse or partner’s child. This gives the individual specific rights even if the couple is not married. However, it can even serve as a level of protection for both parents when the couple is legally married.
LGBT family laws are always shifting and changing, which means if you are in a situation that warrants it, you may want to contact a skilled attorney. Contact a Bronx gay and LGBT family law lawyer immediately to discuss your situation.
Todd is a miracle worker who will work tirelessly for you and your family. He is one of the few attorneys i've met - who I earnestly trust to protect me, and who I am happy to refer to our friends and fellow family members. The Spodek Law Group is someone you want on your side, because they will treat you just like family. Todd and his team are available 24/7, and they always answered our calls. Even when we were being irrational, and crazy - they were calm and super helpful. Just call Todd. He gives you a free consultation and is very understanding.- Donna & Robert
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