24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196




When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

NYC Gay & LGBT Family Law Lawyers

Before July 24, 2011, when same-sex marriage became legal in New York, same-sex couples were not legally recognized as legitimately married in the eyes of the law. Benefits of marriage such as social security benefits, inheritance benefits, and health insurance benefits were denied them.

Although there have been countless changes that benefit LGBT couples both in law and in the social sphere, the law is still evolving in this area and there are frequent challenges to the laws that exist. There are still obstacles that LGBT couples face and they require the same legal representation as opposite-sex married couples. The issues in marriage and Divorce, Child Custody, and legal agreements fall under the umbrella of Family Law.

From prenuptial agreements to adoption or divorce, an LGBT family law lawyer is knowledgeable in the unique challenges and issues in the LGBT community. It may be hard to keep up with LGBT Rights and the legal challenges to them. Having a lawyer on your side who understands your rights and will fight for them can give you a sense of peace and safety that can often seem elusive.

What Are LGBT Rights?

In the landmark case of Griswold v. Connecticut¹ in 1965, the Supreme Court officially acknowledged that marriage relationships were intimate to the degree of being sacred, and they are a way of life and not social projects. At the time, marriage was defined only as between two partners of opposite sex. Same-sex couples were not recognized to be a part of unions described by the Court as sacred.

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
14:16 30 Apr 24
Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
my lawyer is Alex Zhik. Efficient, patient and professional
Nun yaNun ya
17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
Keisha ParrisKeisha Parris
20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko BeautyTaïko Beauty
16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
K MarK Mar
01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.

In 2017, a Gallup Poll revealed that there were 1.1 million LGBT people married to someone of the same-sex or 547,000 married same-sex couples. 1.2 million LGBT people in the U.S. are in a same-sex relationship but unmarried.

While countries like Nigeria were outlawing same-sex marriage in 2011, the United States was litigating the rights of same-sex persons to legally marry, however, there were still discriminations on the individual as well as state levels.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that individual states cannot ban same-sex marriage. They are required to issue marriage licenses to any same-sex couples who apply. The 2015 deciding case of Obergefell v. Hodges², determined that same-sex couples have the fundamental right to marriage per the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

Health providers and insurance companies are no longer able to discriminate by turning someone away for being LGBT or denying anyone coverage for a pre-existing condition. Same-sex domestic partners can also receive long-term care insurance and are eligible for federal benefits under their same-sex federal employee partners.

LGBT couples have rights in the workplace, the healthcare environment, government institutions and they have rights under the law to adopt, enter pre and postnuptial agreements, win custody of children and receive all the same benefits as opposite-sex couples.

What Can An LGBT Family Law Lawyer Do For Me?

LGBT same-sex marriages can come with some specific unique elements, however, as far as the law is concerned they face the same challenges all marriages do and so the issues a lawyer can assist with include:

  • Prepare Legal Contracts
  • Pre and Postnuptial Agreements
  • Divorce
  • Adoption
  • Estate Planning
  • Orders of Protection
  • Surrogacy
  • Discrimination
  • Child Custody
  • Inheritance

It is always wise to work with an LGBT family law lawyer who can not only advise you on legal issues that affect the LGBT community, and partnerships in general, but defend your rights if you ever face an injustice that is against the law.

The law has come quite a long way in protecting the rights of all people. There will always be hurdles here and there to overcome whether someone is a member of the LGBT community or not, however, an LGBT family law lawyer understands the unique challenges to the community and is able to ensure that everyone’s rights are respected and upheld.

In the past two decades or so, the United States has seen a massive cultural and legal shift regarding the rights of LGBT community members. New York in particular has evolved regarding gay rights. The most significant difference is the right of LGBT community members to marry their chosen partners in all of the United States.
With these new rights comes the potential for new legal complications. Family law is rapidly developing insights and practices to represent people in same-sex marriages. If you’re seeking a family law attorney to represent you as an LGBT client, you should consider the following factors before making your decision:

Experience With LGBT Clients

It’s not necessary for a lawyer who works with LGBT community members to be a member of the community themselves. However, they should have experience with the representation of LGBT clients. Growing numbers of New York attorneys have negotiated family law and other agreements for their LGBT clients. Because the rights of LGBT people have been so recently granted, and aren’t universally guaranteed, a lawyer who represents LGBT clients must be familiar with discrimination and domestic law issues.

If you’re seeking a family law attorney for your LGBT relationship or child, your first step will be to have a consultation. The attorney will discuss your legal matter or case, the nuances of the law regarding it, and potential approaches going forward. Consultations are the best way for LGBT community members to gauge whether the attorney will be a good fit for their circumstances. A family law lawyer must understand the nuances and complications inherent in domestic law for LGBT people.
Across the state, a growing number of enrichment programs have been designed for attorneys to learn more about how to represent the LGBT community. These programs include information about LGBT rights, marriages, custody agreements, and etiquette. Additionally, certain specialized non-profit organizations will take on attorneys who want to provide their services to LGBT community members.

Divorcing Same-Sex Couples and Child Custody

When child custody is an issue, same-sex divorces use the same standards as opposite-sex divorces. The court will make the custody determination based on the child’s best interests. This determination will define which parties get physical custody, legal custody, and visitation rights.

Theoretically, courts are neutral when approaching a child’s custodial placement with same-sex parents. Instead of applying preconceived notions to the case, the court analyzes a set of domestic factors, and then applies them to the case circumstances.
A court might consider which parent has filled the role of primary caretaker for the involved child. Other potential deciding factors include, but are not limited to: physical health, mental health, and emotional health of all involved parties.

The Potential for Inherent Discrimination

Even though a great deal of progress has been made for LGBT community acceptance, there’s still a possibility of inherent discrimination. Any attorney working with the LGBT community should be aware of the potential for discrimination and hypervigilant in protecting their client against it.

LGBT Marriage

Same-sex marriage was legalized in New York before the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that nationalized it. However, same-sex marriage still receives frequent challenges both in New York and in the rest of the country. These challenges occur on both an individual and systemic basis. For an example of individual discrimination, some same-sex couples have faced the illegal denial of their marriage license by government workers citing “religious reasons.” On a systemic level, many state legislatures have attempted to enact discriminatory legislation in retaliation for the marriage equality decision.

If you’re facing discrimination regarding the officiating or verifying of your marriage, a family law lawyer should be your first resource. Sometimes, the problems don’t stop when the marriage license is issued. Couples still might face illegal discrimination including the refusal of businesses to serve them, the denial of hospital visitation rights, and the denial of the right to make life-saving medical decisions for a person’s spouse.

Even though the law is on the side of LGBT people, facing illegal discrimination is still a frightening and alienating experience. A good family law attorney will not only understand the law, but they’ll be experienced using it to defend their clients against unlawful discrimination.

¹GRISWOLD ET AL. v. CONNECTICUT No. 496 381 U.S. 479; 85 S. Ct. 1678; 14 L. Ed. 2d 510; 1965 U.S. LEXIS 2282 , (1965), https://web.stanford.edu/~mrosenfe/Griswold_v_CT_US_1965.pdf (last visited Sep 9, 2017).
²OBERGEFELL ET AL. v. HODGES, DIRECTOR, OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, ET AL. CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT No. 14–556. , (2015), https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf (last visited Jul 2, 2015).


Schedule Your Consultation Now