Redlands Family Law Attorneys For Same-Sex Couples

Because the laws affecting same-sex relationships continue to evolve, it is important to work with an attorney who is experienced in California family law and current with changing laws. At Bowler and Bowler, we have years of experience in dealing with these matters.

Our firm can represent you in complex family law cases. We assist LGBT individuals and couples who have cohabitation agreements, are registered domestic partners and are in same-sex marriages. Speak with the firm to learn how he can help you.

Trusted Guidance for Child Custody Proceedings

When couples separate or divorce, children add complexities to the mix. Both parties must coordinate how they plan to continue to care for their children together in Redlands, San Bernardino, Riverside and other Inland Empire communities. Same-sex couples face special difficulties in this regard. One parent may have difficulty proving the parentage of the other. This can affect the ability of the custodial parent to request child support and the ability of the nonbiological parent to seek visitation and custodial rights.

We find that when couples work together to find amicable solutions, the children benefit the most. Your Bowler & Bowler attorney will do everything in his power to de-escalate tense situations and make propositions that both parties can agree on. We understand the fears many parents have at this time and how incredibly frustrating this aspect of divorce and separation can become. We handle these cases with the level of delicacy they deserve.

Common Questions From the LGBTQ Community

The right of same-sex couples to marry has been a contentious issue in the United States for a long time. The battle in California really took off in 2004, when Gavin Newsom, then the mayor of San Francisco, issued marriage licenses. In 2008, the state of California issued several marriage licenses as well.

Marriages that began during these periods can face special complexities when deciding the validity of the marriage and what the spouse becomes entitled to. Here are some additional issues our lawyer at Bowler & Bowler helps Redlands same-sex couples address.

Are same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions legal in California?

If you married in another country or state where same-sex marriages are legal and then move to California, the state treats you as a married couple. Consequently, you will not need to remarry. The same is true of visiting same-sex couples. This does mean that couples who wish to legally dissolve their marriage in San Bernardino and Riverside counties will need to divorce like other married couples. Similarly, marriages performed in California are legal in other American states.

Are former domestic partners in the state automatically married?

During the time when same-sex couples could not marry, many entered into domestic partnerships. When family law changes made same-sex marriages legal, many couples opted to continue to live as married couples but without the formal ceremony. Domestic partnerships did not automatically become marriages and an option was given to opt out of the partnership. In several respects, domestic partners have many of the same rights and responsibilities as married persons do.

If a domestic partnership isn’t technically a marriage, does that mean I can marry my new partner without terminating the partnership with the former?

Though domestic partnerships are not marriages in the full sense, they do come close in family law. Domestic partners share many of the same rights and responsibilities as married couples. For starters, domestic partnerships do qualify as legal relationships, so you cannot enter another legal relationship without dissolving the former. The same goes for people moving from one domestic partnership to another. These laws help ensure proper division of assets and custody arrangements when domestic partner relationships end.

Do we need to dissolve our domestic partnership to get married?

No, you do not need to end your domestic partnership before proceeding with marriage to the same person. You simply follow the same steps as other couples, such as getting a marriage license and planning for your big day.

What are my rights as the nonbiological parent of our child?

It is common for same-sex couples to start a family where one person becomes the biological parent with the assistance of a surrogate mother or donor father. If you are in a domestic partnership or married at the time you start your family, California laws generally treat you as a parent.

If the child was born prior to marriage or domestic partnership, family law can become more complicated. Whenever possible, nonbiological parents should press for adoption to gain rights. If the child was born to married or partnered parents, it is often possible to do a confirmatory adoption.

Contact an Attorney Today To Learn More

If you are considering a same-sex partnership or marriage, it is important to know what your family law rights are and the correct steps to follow to ensure you create a legal relationship. For couples looking to divorce, knowing how to verify the legal validity of your relationship and what the corresponding stipulations are can help ensure you receive all the rights and privileges of different-sex ex-spouses and co-parents.

At Bowler & Bowler, you will find a lawyer that is committed to providing guidance to the LGBTQ community. Reach out to us with any family law questions or concerns you may have along the way or involve us from the very start of the process. To schedule an appointment, please contact the firm online or call the office at 909-335-4848.

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