Family Law Issues For Same Sex Couples

By Jessica Banks | Family Law

Jul 31
Biological children custody

There is significant and huge progress recently when talking about same sex marriage, but true legal equality still has a long way to go comparing to standard marriage. These couples also have a wish and need to get married, start a family and live their lives with same quality as standard couples. Today there are certain issues and various prejudice which stand in a way of same sex couples to realize same goals and happiness as standard couples, here are just some of them.

Property planning

Same sex couples have to carefully create an estate plan if they don’t want to find themselves in a problematic situation. While legally married couples have much easier option to protect their spouse after the death.


Same sex couples need to collect and determine estate planning documents such as trusts, wills and guardianship of minor children so they can ensure their assets are distributed and children protected or entrusted to person they choose.

Child adoption

Heterosexual couples have so much options comparing to same-sex couples when it comes to adopting a child. Heterosexual couple may adopt child almost with help of any regular agency while same-sex couple has rarely some door of these agencies opened for cooperation. Unfortunately they have right to refuse same-sex couples where these couples face on of many discriminations and have really small chances to adopt a child.

Biological children custody

There are many cases where same-sex couples decide to have a child by one spouse to become parents and this becomes a very complex situation for them. The non-biological parent has to go through a second parent adoption in order to be granted secure parental rights. Some state may grant these rights without second parent adoption but then comes a problem if this couple decides to travel to state that doesn’t honor parental rights the same way.

If child get injured in this case a non-biological parent doesn’t get access to their child in hospital according to that state’s laws. Legal adoption is secure way to have access to your child in any state and circumstances. Same problems come if the biological parent dies.


Usual situations in a healthcare with heterosexual couples are where healthcare staff takes just a word from them as a legal proof that they are married but when it is about same-sex couple they ask for a legal proof. This is one of the usual discriminations which is very unfair and this is why it is best to ensure legal protection and establish power of attorney. This will provide access in any medical emergency for both partners.


When same-sex couples are married they have an option to fill federal income tax returns separately or together, this, unfortunately, becomes complex when couple is united as a domestic partnership or a civil union.

So to avoid these problems and inconveniences it is best to ask for professional help from specialized accountant or a lawyer who will lay out all the options and solutions to file your taxes in a best way for some time.

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