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Does the LGBT Community Have a Place in Family Law?

Members of the LGBT community have been fighting for equality for many years, and though few states grant this right or will recognize a same sex marriage as binding, New York City is one state that does. LGBT family law is a broad term and encompasses all aspects of same sex marriage, divorce, forming and dissolution of civil partnerships, child custody, adoption, legal issues that can arise in same sex marriage and prenuptial agreements. As in any marriage, disagreements could happen or problems could arise and a divorce is called for. It is vital to have the right attorney for these situations to avoid certain pitfalls under the law for gay and lesbian couples concerning child custody and property division. This is yet another reason a prenuptial agreement is to be encouraged.

On June 24th, 2011, New York City became the 6th state in the United States that will marry and recognize same sex couples. This law, called the Marriage Equality Act, also includes the rights inherent in wills and intestacy proceedings as well as support from spouses during the marriage and after it is dissolved. Perhaps most importantly is the right for spouses to be treated as family members in health care proceedings and decision making. Important benefits given to married individuals that members of the LGBT community are only starting to receive in certain states also include making health care decisions for their spouse when the other is incapable, protection in property and estate distribution. As with any right, responsibility follows. If the marriage is dissolved, this could include child support and liability for spousal debt. In the marriage, this could include spousal maintenance in cases where a spouse falls ill or becomes otherwise incapable of caring for themselves and must be cared for.

These various aspects of family law are protected in the state of New York as well as in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Washington D.C, Iowa and Washington. In approaching any legal battle concerning LGBT family law, it is important to look for a lawyer that is knowledgeable in all aspects of the law, including small details that may be missed. Albie Myburgh of Myburgh Law PC has the necessary expertise to guide same sex couples through all any issue that arises in a marriage or long term partnership. His firm has long been a proponent for the LGBT community and wants the best for his clients in all matters.

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