In 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court decided Obergefell v. Hodges, allowing same-sex couples to marry, adopt, and be afforded the same recognition as opposite-sex couples at all levels of government.
Now that marriage is no longer limited to heterosexual couples, many of the privileges, rights, and responsibilities associated with raising children in married households have been granted to same-sex couples. Presumptions of paternity and maternity need to be re-considered and explored by new cases. Likewise, legal parentage presumptions governing children born through artificial reproductive technology must be broadened to include same-sex couples.
Following the Obergefell decision, adoption is now legal in all states for same-sex couples. Step-parent adoptions offer convenient avenues for families to formalize relationships that have existed for years. Joint adoptions are also available in ways that were never possible before.
Finally, couples who do not intend to marry may use cohabitation agreements to address these same issues should their relationship end. These agreements should indicate:
- Intent to co-parent
- Intent to share rights and responsibilities
- How to address custody if they separate
- Parenting time
- Legal Decision-Making
- Child Support
- Conflict Resolution/Mediation
We represent our clients as they consider how best to build their families.