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Same-Sex Families

Part of the healing process is sharing with other people who care.
-Jerry Cantrell


Find out the latest legislative, political, and legal developments regarding same-sex marriage, divorce, custody, and support in Los Angeles County

Laurent Legal is happy to offer experienced and compassionate legal counsel to protect the unique needs of same-sex families. Given the ever-evolving legislative, judicial, and political landscape of same-sex marriage and domestic partnership laws in California, we understand the importance of advocating for individuals in the LGBTQ community who are making their way through the Family Court system.

The turbulent path to marriage equality in California speaks to the importance of remaining informed of the latest legislative and political developments regarding same-sex marriage in the state.  California first began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in June of 2008 subsequent to the California Supreme Court’s ruling in In re Marriage Cases that barring same-sex couples from marriage was unconstitutional.  The passage of Proposition 8 in November of 2008 revoked the right to marry for same-sex couples until June of 2013, though existing same-sex marriages continued to be valid.

In August of 2010, United States District Court Chief Judge Vaughn Walker declared Proposition 8 to be a violation of the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution. Same-Sex Families legal representation at laurentlegal.com Judge Walker’s decision was upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in February of 2012.  After being appealed in July of 2012, the case was granted review by the U.S. Supreme Court in December of 2012.  Finally, same-sex couples regained the right to marry in June of 2013 with the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry which enforced the effect of Judge Walker’s 2010 ruling, albeit on legal standing grounds.

In addition, California allows same-sex couples (along with opposite-sex couples in which one party is over the age of 62) to register as Domestic Partners, granting them the same rights, responsibilities, and obligations of married partners under state law, though many of these rights are not recognized under federal law.  Since January 1, 2005, Registered Domestic Partners have been required to dissolve their relationships in Family Court like opposite-sex couples seeking a dissolution of their relationship.  Further, California recognizes equivalent Domestic Partnerships and marriages granted in other states and countries.

With marriage equality finally becoming a reality in the state of California, we are pleased to offer all of our family law services to our LGBTQ clients who are considering marriage or Domestic Partnership, are married or in a Registered Domestic Partnership, or are considering divorce or legal separation, including:

  • Child Custody:  Donna always keeps your children’s best interest at the forefront when developing a parenting plan and determining the best way for you and your co-parent to share custody after separation.  She also ensures that you and your children are provided with the best services and resources to meet your individual needs after separation.
  • Support:  Laurent Legal advocates for you in establishing and modifying child support orders as well as achieving the most appropriate temporary and permanent spousal/partner support orders for married couples and Registered Domestic Partners, keeping in mind that the tax implications of support orders differ between the dissolution of Registered Domestic Partnerships and marriages.
  • Division of Assets:  Laurent Legal will help identify and characterize community and separate property and the best division for you and your family.
  • Domestic violence:  Donna will protect the rights of LGBT Q individuals by seeking temporary and permanent restraining orders in domestic violence situations.
  • Divorce or Legal Separation:  Donna will assist you in obtaining a dissolution or legal separation of your marriage or domestic partnership whether you entered into your marriage or domestic partnership in California or another state or country.

Same-Sex Families Can Rely on Our Dedicated Legal Experience

At Laurent Legal, the importance of protecting your rights and the rights of your children in your dissolution of marriage, domestic partnership, or parentage case is our priority. The turbulent road to marriage equality, the developing law regarding same-sex relationships, and the feelings of insecurity resulting therefrom mean that Laurent Legal must advocate all the more zealously for our LGBTQ clients and their families. Call 818-946-3100 or contact Donna online to schedule a consultation to discuss your unique needs and situation.