Divorce signature, marriage dissolution document.

Common Challenges Faced by LGBTQIA+ People in Family Law Cases

A number of factors can impact your family law case, from the unique laws of your state to the judge presiding over your dispute. Understanding the challenges you may face as a member of the LGBTQIA community can help you prepare for your case.

To schedule a consultation with our team and work with experienced LGBTQIA attorneys, contact us online or via phone at (415) 805-9069.

Determining Marital & Separate Property

For older LGBTQIA couples in particular, identifying whether certain assets are marital (meaning they will be divided equally between the parties during divorce) or separate (meaning they’re exempt from property division) can be an issue.

Gay marriage was only recently legalized. This can complicate property division for couples who have been sharing assets and liabilities for far longer than they have technically been married or in a partnership. While common-law marriage legislation may help assuage these issues, it can still be a problem for LGBTQIA+ couples who don’t qualify for cohabitation or common-law marriage laws for a variety of reasons.

Unexpected Issues in International & Private Adoptions

Unfortunately, not all countries are kind to prospective LGBTQIA+ adoptive parents – and neither are all private adoption agencies. Sometimes, LGBTQIA+ parents may get fairly far into the adoption process, only to learn that an agency refuses to work with them further.

In many cases, these types of occurrences can be avoided by hiring an adoption lawyer who understands international and local adoption laws, and can help connect you with an agency that will work with you.

Child Custody Battles Can Get Tricky

In some cases, one LGBTQIA+ parent will be a child’s biological parent, while the other is not. Establishing legal parentage rights can sometimes be difficult for non-biological LGBTQIA+ individuals, leading to drawn-out custody disputes that stress out everyone involved – including the children.

If you have concerns about how your custody case may progress, consider speaking with a custody lawyer as soon as possible.

Some Courts May Hold Personal Biases

Unfortunately, if you need to litigate a family law dispute as an LGBTQIA+ person, having a judge who discriminates against LGBTQIA+ individuals could make your case far more difficult than it has any right to be, even resulting in unfair judgments and the need to appeal outcomes.

Lawyers who work with LGBTQIA+ individuals often understand their legal circuit and can warn clients against certain courts or judges that may act in a discriminatory way.

At Fenchel Family Law PC, our LGBTIQIA+ attorneys are dedicated to ensuring every client receives the fair, equitable representation they deserve. To schedule a consultation with our team for your case, contact us online or via phone at (415) 805-9069.