LGBTQIA Law Attorneys in Franklin
Serving Clients in Davidson County, Williamson County, & Throughout Middle Tennessee
Families come in all shapes and sizes, and face a wide range of issues. LGBTQIA individuals may find themselves facing even more challenges, as the laws are always changing.
At Harrington Law, we understand the emotions that come with family law cases. If you and your significant other are facing legal difficulties regarding a family law matter—such as adoption, divorce, or child custody—you should speak with a knowledgeable family law attorney.
Most domestic relations and matrimonial laws in Tennessee and other states were established under the assumption that spouses and parents were heterosexual. As a result, certain laws that use the terms “husband,” “wife,” “father,” or “mother” affecting family relations and marriages apply to same-sex couples according to a more literal interpretation of such laws.
Divorce and Property Division: One challenge that same sex spouses commonly face when they have lived together as a committed couple for many years before they were able to legally marry is the timing of when the court should treat the union as having commenced for purposes of property division and alimony. Tennessee courts will generally not consider any period of time prior to the legal marriage when it determines what is “marital” property, or what property has been acquired since the date of marriage, and what is “separate” property, or what property each spouse owned before marriage or what property was acquired by gift or inheritance during the marriage. In Tennessee, typically the courts will only seek to divide marital property in the event of a divorce.
Custody and Parenting: Same-sex divorce or custody disputes involving a couple’s minor children present thorny issues that do not arise in cases where the spouses are both biological parents. Unless there has been an adoption proceeding, complex legal issues may arise in a custody dispute involving a non-biological parent. Rules pertaining to a presumption of legitimacy for a child born to a married couple may or may not apply to same-sex couples.
Adoptions: A legal adoption process is a significant tool for same-sex couples and their families. The same-sex partner of a child’s parent might not have a parent-child relationship under current law without completing the adoption process.
We are also pleased to be able to help all families navigate the legal system.
Over 20 Years of Legal Experience
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