Same-Sex Marriage Lawyer in Indianapolis, IN
Same-sex marriages are now recognized in Indiana. The ban on same-sex marriage was found to be unconstitutional. Like other spouses, same-sex couples may face complex family law issues. Certain issues, including child custody, can be particularly complicated when same-sex spouses divorce.
Our family law attorneys in Indianapolis at Trapp Law, LLC in Indianapolis, IN have significant experience handling same-sex family law matters. We understand the sensitive nature of family law cases, which are stressful and difficult at the best of times. We strive to deliver high-quality, affordable legal services and offer a free and confidential initial consultation to assist you.
Family Law Services We Provide to Same-Sex Spouses
Our experienced lawyers understand the challenges same-sex couples face, and we know the options available to resolve cases. We can assist you with all types of family law matters, including:
- Same-sex couple adoption
- Same-sex divorce
- Property division
- Child custody
- Child support
- Parenting time orders
- Custody, support, and parenting time modifications
Same-Sex Couple Adoptions
Adoption may be the most practical way to start a family for many same-sex couples. When one spouse brings a child into the marriage, the other spouse may choose to adopt the child. Same-sex second-parent adoptions are treated like stepparent adoptions. It is only possible to adopt the child if the other biological parent consents or if the court grants a termination of his or her parental rights.
No state law in Indiana specifically permits second-parent adoptions by a same-sex partner. It is possible for courts to rule that adoption is not in the best interests of the child. If you are considering same-sex second-parent adoption, it is strongly advised that you have an experienced family law attorney by your side to help you pursue your dreams of having a family.
Complications in Same-Sex Custody Issues
When same-sex couples divorce or split up, one of the many complications they face is how child custody issues are handled. The complexity stems from the fact that children are not conceived by both parents in same-sex marriages. Only one spouse is a biological parent in some cases. In other cases, same-sex couples adopt.
In some same-sex marriages, one spouse brings a child from a previous marriage or relationship, which the new spouse helps to parent. The child may have another living biological parent. This type of complex family situation can lead to difficulties in determining parental rights.
Same-Sex Cohabitation Agreements
Recognition of same-sex marriage is a recent development. Many same-sex couples have been living together under cohabitation agreements and never actually married. When these couples decide to split up, property division can be complicated by the fact that they were never legally married.
Same-Sex Divorce: New Legal Territory
Before same-sex marriage was recognized in Indiana, couples who were married in other states and wanted to divorce in-state were unable to do so. Now, same-sex couples have the same right to marry and divorce in Indiana as heterosexual couples. However, same-sex divorce is a new legal area with additional complications concerning child custody, parenting time, and visitation.
Our Indianapolis family law attorneys at Trapp Law, LLC are well-versed in the law, with extensive experience in all types of family law matters. We understand that no two cases are the same and develop creative and custom solutions to meet the needs of the individuals we serve. Contact us for dedicated legal assistance in same-sex family law matters.
Is Same-Sex Marriage Legal in Indiana?
Yes, same-sex marriage is legal in Indiana.
On October 6, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana ruled that Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The court ordered the state to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who had been married in other states.
On October 7, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling, making Indiana the twentieth state where same-sex marriage is legal.
Indiana had previously recognized same-sex marriages that had been performed in other states, but it did not allow same-sex couples to marry within the state. In January 2014, a federal judge struck down Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage, but the ruling was put on hold while it was appealed.
The Seventh Circuit’s ruling means that same-sex couples in Indiana can now marry and have their marriages recognized by the state.
Why Hire a Same-Sex Marriage Lawyer?
If you are considering getting married to your same-sex partner, or if you are already married and seeking recognition of your marriage in Indiana, it is important to consult with an experienced same-sex marriage lawyer. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal issues involved in same-sex marriage and ensure that your rights are protected.
Realistically, although same-sex marriage now has similar protections as non-same-sex marriages, it is a newer legal construct. Further, the protections that same-sex marriage has been offered were offered separately from non-same-sex marriages. It is important to make sure your union will not be legally vulnerable.
4 Challenges of Same-Sex Divorce in Indianapolis
While same-sex marriage is now legal in Indiana, there can still be some challenges when it comes to divorcing a same-sex partner. Here are four challenges of same-sex divorce in Indianapolis that you should be aware of. Many of these impact non-same-sex marriages as well, but the issues involved may be complicated due to the periphery issues — such as not taking on a partner’s last name, or even court-side bias.
1. Child Custody Issues
If you have children with your same-sex partner, you may face some challenges when it comes to child custody. The court may not automatically assume that you are the child’s parent, even if you are listed on the child’s birth certificate. You may need to provide additional evidence to establish your parental rights.
2. Property Division Issues
Another issue that can arise in same-sex divorce is property division. If you and your partner have accumulated property during your relationship, you will need to determine how to divide it between you. This can be a complex process, especially if you have disagreements about who should get what.
3. Alimony Issues
Alimony, or spousal support, can also be an issue in a same-sex divorce. The court may consider the length of your relationship, each spouse’s income, and other factors when determining whether alimony should be awarded and how much should be paid.
4. Retirement Account Issues
Retirement accounts can also be complex to divide in a same-sex divorce. If you have retirement accounts that were opened during your marriage, you will need to determine how to divide them between you. This can be a complex process, so it is important to consult with an experienced lawyer.
Divorce is never easy, but it can be especially challenging for same-sex couples.