Civil Unions

In the past 15 years, we have kept pace with the changing face of the American family. We have proudly represented a diverse range of family members, including divorcing mothers and fathers, single parents, stepparents, grandparents and same-sex couples.

We were proud to witness the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges that established same-sex marriage protections in all states. Although many same-sex couples have taken advantage of this new option, they may still face challenges. A same-sex spouse who is not the child's biological parent may need to utilize formal adoption proceedings, even if the child was conceived after the same-sex couple's marriage. Any separately titled property that was acquired before the marriage is generally not considered part of the marital estate.

It is also important to understand that civil unions are not exactly the same as marriages. They do not carry the same rights. To the extent a same-sex couple had drawn up contracts governing their property division, these should be revisited to avoid the unintended consequence of a prenuptial agreement.

Family law is a constantly evolving area, and a dedicated attorney in this field must stay flexible and well-informed. Contact Scott J. Levine if you need to discuss our civil unions laws with a qualified lawyer, or you are dealing with legal issues surrounding the need to dissolve your domestic partnership.