Family Law Issues And The LGBT Community

Until the Supreme Court ruling in June, 2015, same-sex marriage was not legally recognized in Louisiana. Today, members of the LGBT community have the same right to marry as heterosexual couples. However, the laws surrounding property division, alimony and child custody are unclear when same-sex marriages end.

I am family law attorney Gregory S. Johnson. I have more than 16 years of experience representing families in Baton Rouge during divorce and child custody disputes. I will help bring clarity to your unclear situation, and fight to make sure your financial interests, and your relationship with your children, are protected when your marriage ends.

Same-Sex Divorce

During divorce, the same laws apply to same-sex and heterosexual couples. However, the way in which these laws are applied presents unique family law issues to the LGBT community. The two most complicated issues are relating to property division and child custody:

Your rights regarding marital property:

Louisiana is a community property state. That means, during divorce, all properties acquired during the marriage are divided 50-50. This law presents challenges for the LGBT community. Many couples were married years ago, outside Louisiana, in states that recognized gay marriage before the Supreme Court ruling. However, Louisiana was not required to honor these marriages until June, 2015.

So, when did your marriage start for purposes of acquiring community property? The answer could depend on the judge assigned to your case.

Custody challenges unique to the LGBT community:

Louisiana has not addressed same-sex parents and custody in depth. However, other states have handed down some very harsh rulings. Unless you are biologically related to your children, or have legally adopted them, there is a chance the court may decide you have no legal right to custody, visitation or support if you and your spouse or partner split.

Because the law is unclear, there is an opportunity to shape the way laws will apply to LGBT divorce. That makes it more important than ever to work with an experienced lawyer who knows the law and understands the challenges your community continues to face.

I have decades of legal experience. I will do everything in my power to ensure you get a fair share of marital assets and to protect your relationship with your children.

Premarital Planning

Premarital planning can help clarify some of these issues. If you are planning to marry, I can help you create legal documents outlining each spouse's rules and responsibilities regarding children and property rights.

Schedule A Free Consultation

For help with same-sex divorce, property or custody issues, contact my firm. Call 225-341-4690 to schedule a free consultation.