On June 26th, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was to be legally recognized in all 50 states. This means that in Michigan, where same-sex marriage had previously been illegal, it is now legally required that our state recognize marriages between same-sex couples.
Some view this as a great victory for same-sex couples and their supporters. Throughout Michigan, the legalization of same-sex marriage brought with it all of the many complexities and challenges of newly passed legislation. The process has been streamlined by years of legislative and judicial process for traditional heterosexual couples who want to file for divorce, arrange custody agreements, or determine spousal support. But for same-sex couples, because the process is very new, there is some level of uncertainty and ambiguity in the process.
LGBT Couples also get Divorced
With marriage comes the possibility of divorce. And divorce presents a whole host of it’s own challenges, like asset division, custody arrangements, spousal support and many other issues that will need to be addressed, whether the divorcing couple are heterosexual or same-sex.
While the legal procedures of Michigan’s same-sex divorce are generally the same as in a heterosexual divorce, there are a number of challenges that are unique. Parting spouses will have to negotiate on the terms of their divorce and have court approval of the settlement they agree on. For this reason we encourage all of our clients to collaborate with their soon-to-be-ex spouses, working to reach a fair divorce settlement.
Sometimes, however, this just isn’t possible, for a variety of reasons. And so if a divorce becomes contested and the spouses can’t reach an agreement, the divorce attorneys at Kronzek & Cronkright PLLC are prepared to fight for our clients, protecting their best interests both in and out of court during every aspect of the divorce litigation.
Same-Sex Divorce in Michigan
This particular area of same-sex family law, with regard to gay and lesbian divorce, is still in it’s infancy in Michigan. With the legalization of same-sex marriage having occurred fairly recently, very few same-sex couples have had the opportunity to pursue divorce. But the fact remains that like every other form of marriage, it is likely to gather momentum in coming years. And like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples are going to need the best representation available during their divorces.
Should the time come when you and your same-sex spouse decide to end your marriage, you will need qualified, experienced representation. And when that time comes, call us. We are here to help.
Prenuptial Agreements for Same-Sex Couples
A prenuptial agreement is a signed, legal document, essentially a contract, that provides a couple and the court, with direction as to how their assets and debts should be divided in the event of a divorce. Division of assets and debts is a complex and emotional, issue for a married couple to manage. And so for this reason, many couples choose to have a prenuptial agreement written, which details exactly which items and assets will be assigned to which person, should their marriage end.
In addition to the benefits of protecting assets, for many same-sex couples who have been with their partners for a very long time, a prenuptial agreement offers other protections as well. By providing recognition to all of the joint property owned by that couple, who have invested many years in their relationship, even when state law was unwilling to recognize their union, it preserves and protects the assets that helped to lay the foundation for their shared future together.
As experienced family law attorneys, we serve Michigan’s families, including the LGBT community in all of their marriage and divorce related needs. Whether you and your partner are just starting out and need help preparing for your same-sex marriage, or are choosing to part ways and end your legal union, we are here to help you, every step of the way.
Custody, Visitation, and Adoption for LGBT couples in Michigan
Many same-sex couples choose to have children. But regardless of whether they choose to pursue that honor through adoption, surrogacy, or biological donor, if they later decide to end the marriage, they will be forced to address the same issues faced by all divorcing couples with children. If the children were born before Michigan starting recognizing same sex marriages, there will be even more complications to deal with in parenting time plans.
These issues include custody agreements, child support payments, and visitation schedules. But for same-sex couples, the complexities and challenges are often even greater. Unlike the average traditional marriage where the children are usually biologically the product of both parents, in a same-sex marriage this isn’t usually the case. For example, in a lesbian couple where one parent carries the baby through pregnancy as a result of a biological donor, that child would legally belong only to the birth parent, unless the other parent was able to successfully attain a legal adoption.
Due to Michigan’s gay adoption law (HB 4088, 4089 and 4090), same-sex couples are faced with considerably greater challenges when attempting to legally adopt children. This can directly impact the way in which a custody agreement needs to be handled during a divorce.
As with all divorces where children are a factor, traditional or nontraditional, we will work towards the most amicable arrangement possible First and foremost, the best interests of the children must be maintained as vitally important. Family, whether together or parted, is of critical importance. As attorneys with decades of family law, divorce and custody experience here in Michigan, we are dedicated to serving all families in need of legal assistance with divorce, custody, and visitation concerns.
Kronzek & Cronkright PLLC Family law attorneys for Michigan
The family law attorneys at Kronzek & Cronkright PLLC (“The Kronzek Firm”) have decades of combined experience handling all matters that pertain to family law in Michigan. We have represented many clients through difficult and turbulent cases working hard to ensure that they and their futures are protected.
Whether you are thinking about filing for divorce or your spouse has filed for divorce against you, you will need to hire an experienced divorce lawyer to protect you. One that ensures that your rights are protected and assets are properly represented now and in the future.
The divorce process is overwhelming and confusing. Courts are different, judges are different and procedures differ. At the Kronzek Firm, our divorce attorneys make it a priority to stay up to date with the latest developments in Michigan divorce laws and consistently put in the time and effort required to represent you well in every aspect of your case.
The Kronzek Firm wants every client to be satisfied with their representation and the outcome of their case. That’s why we consistently receive high ratings and referrals from our clients. We also believe that it is important that you and your attorney are a good team working well with each and communicating often to maximize your potential. For this reason, we always offer you the opportunity to meet with one of our divorce attorneys for a free initial consultation. This is your chance to learn about us and how we can help you with your case.