Protecting Your Equal Rights
At Huson Law Firm, PLLC, we are committed to all Minnesota families. We provide top-notch counsel on same-sex marriage by staying current with developing state and federal case law. Our attorneys bring more than 20 years of combined experience to fighting for brighter futures for our clients. No matter where you are in the continuum of your relationship, we support you with sensitivity and a resolute commitment to protecting your rights.
The Right To Marry
Marriage in Minnesota is now defined as a civil contract between two persons, regardless of either party’s gender. Same-sex couples have the same rights to marriage benefits and responsibilities as opposite-sex couples.
Some special issues confront gay couples when they marry:
- Couples who had commitment ceremonies before August 1, 2013, must apply for marriage licenses and marry in officially recognized ceremonies to be legal.
- For both parties to be recognized as parents when one parent enters the marriage with children, a second-parent adoption is required.
- Same-sex married couples’ estate plans, prenuptial agreements and federal tax filings need to be reviewed.
- To determine changes to employment benefits, newly married gay employees are advised to consult an attorney and then contact their Human Resources department.
The Right To Divorce
Gay couples now have equal access to the process for marriage dissolution, spousal maintenance, parenting time and other divorce protections granted through the Minnesota divorce process. This includes couples who married in Minnesota, but reside in a state where they cannot divorce, as well couples who married in other states or countries and live in Minnesota.
Divorce issues particular to same-sex couples include:
- Nonbiological parents who did not legally adopt their children risk losing custody through divorce.
- While marital property is divided according to what is “just and equitable,” non-marital property — what each spouse acquired separately before they married — belongs to each spouse as an individual, independent of the marriage. Property division is problematic for gay couples who acquired substantial assets before they were able to marry.
- Federal regulations governing the division of assets also apply since the overturn of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
At Huson Law Firm, PLLC, we guide clients through same-sex divorce as quickly and painlessly as possible while protecting their core interests and goals.
The Right To Safeguard Your Best Interests
The urge to rush into marriage may be irresistible after the long wait for the legalization of same-sex marriage. However, as gay marriages are likely to have the same 50 percent divorce rate as heterosexual marriages, you may want to put a prenuptial agreement in place before tying the knot.
While many gay individuals bring well-established careers, significant assets and equity into their marriages, others bring substantial debts. A well-written prenuptial helps couples enter into marriage with openness and honesty about the division of their assets and liabilities in the event of separation, divorce or death, including:
- Determination of separate versus community property
- Responsibility for premarital debts
- Financial responsibilities during marriage
- Distribution of property in case of death
- Ownership of the primary residence, alimony obligations and division of property
- Means of resolving disputes (for example, mediation or arbitration)
Since states cannot be forced to recognize same-sex marriages officiated in other states, a prenuptial can allow a couple to keep their property and assets separate if they divorce in a state with community property laws.
At Huson Law Firm, PLLC, we create fair same-sex prenuptial agreements that fully address your present and future concerns.
Consult An Experienced Same-Sex Divorce Attorney In St. Paul, Minnesota
All people and families — including gay and lesbian families — are welcome at the Huson Law Firm, PLLC. If you need legal advice about same-sex marriage, divorce or prenuptial agreements in Minnesota, call us at 651-968-0822 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.