How Can a Separation Agreement Help an LGBT Couple in Houston?
If you and your partner have gotten married, you hope it will last forever. Nobody gets married thinking they’re going to get divorced later on. And, for LGBT couples, it took so long for them be allowed to marry, they take the institution seriously.
One issue that LGBT couples face that straight couples don’t face is the issue of child custody. Yes, straight couples have to worry about custody. However, in a straight marriage, both parents are usually the legal parents of the children. In an LGBT marriage, this is probably not the case.
Unless you and your partner completed a second-parent adoption, chances are, only one of you are the legal parent of your children. Even if you’re raising your children together, it means nothing when it comes time to separate or divorce. This is why it’s a good idea to talk to an LGBT family lawyer about drafting a separation agreement. Hopefully, you’ll never need this agreement. But, as with so many other things, it’s better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it.
Your LGBT family lawyer in Houston can help you draft a separation agreement that protects you and your partner.
What Issues Can You Face with Child Custody?
For straight couples who marry, their children are probably biological children they had together. Or, they adopted a child together. For LGBT couples, this is rarely the case. Usually, only one parent adopts the child. If you don’t complete a second-parent adoption, you can run into problems down the road.
If you get divorced, only one of you will be the legal parent to your children. This means that, legally, the other parent has absolutely no rights to custody or visitation. No matter how well you and your partner get along now, you have no idea what will happen if you ever decide to separate or divorce. You both need to protect yourself.
An LGBT family lawyer can help you draft an agreement that addresses custody of your children. The agreement can spell out things like custody and child support. This can help you avoid a lot of problems down the road.
Why Will Custody Be an Issue?
Let’s presume that you and your partner adopted a child or multiple children. Let’s also presume that your partner is the one who completed the adoption. This means that you are not the legal parent of the children you’re raising with your partner.
Right now, things are great. You’ve only been married a few years. You have a wonderful home and get along with your partner almost all the time. The two of you rarely fight and can’t imagine that you’d ever get a divorce.
Let’s fast forward five years. You and your partner are having financial problems. There may even be issues of infidelity. You and your partner decide to call it quits. Your partner promises you that they’d never try to keep the children away from you. They promise that they’ll share custody with you 50/50. But, when it comes time to go to court, your partner’s lawyer files a motion for full custody. The judge has to grant the motion because you are not the legal parent of your children.
There are two things you can do to prevent this from happening. First, you can complete a second-parent adoption. This way, both you and your partner will be the legal parents of the children you’re raising together. Or, you can draft a separation agreement. This agreement can outline how custody will be handled in the event you and your spouse divorce.
Your separation agreement can be the one thing that protects you in the event you and your spouse break up. The last thing you’ll want to do is lose the children that you’ve spent years raising with your spouse.
Contact an LGBT Family Lawyer in Houston Today
Even if things are going great between you and your spouse now, you have no idea what the future holds. A lot of people who get married have no intentions of divorcing – ever. However, things happen. People fall out of love. If this happens, you may be facing a divorce.
Divorce can be hard enough without worrying about custody of your kids. Do what you can to protect yourself now so you don’t have to worry about this later on. Call Eddington & Worley and schedule a consultation with an LGBT family law attorney in Houston today.
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