San Francisco Family Law Attorneys Represent Same-Gender Couples
Supporting same-sex couples in domestic-partnership or marital dissolution issues
The right to marry is denied to same-sex couples in California, except for 18,000 couples who married in 2008. Alternatively, California laws authorize registration of domestic partnership status, which confers many of the same marital rights and obligations.
Established in 1993, Silverman & Silverman, Attorneys at Law, can advise you about taking important steps to protect yourself and your partner during your relationship. If you are ending your domestic partnership, we guide you through the process of assets division, child custody, child visitation, child custody and partner support.
Legal protections for same-sex partners
Because the U.S. government and most of the states do not recognize same-sex marriages, civil unions or domestic partnerships, your rights may be at risk at the federal level. Various tools are available to protect your interests in property, healthcare and childrearing, such as:
- Pre-partnership agreements — You can protect your rights to your separate property should your relationship end by entering into a partnership contract similar to a prenuptial agreement.
- Advance directives — If you are seriously injured in a state that does not recognize your relationship, discriminatory laws may prevent your spouse from visiting you and making crucial end-of-life decisions unless your advance directives clearly express your wishes.
- Estate planning — A thorough estate plan can preserve rights to your property for your partner and minimize death tax obligations.
California’s child custody laws
Both partners are considered the legal parents of a child born during your legal domestic partnership: you each have the rights to custody and visitation, and share with the other partner the obligation of financially supporting a child, even if when one of you is not the parent. As a precaution, you may consider obtaining an adoption decree or judgment of parentage to safeguard your parental rights. During dissolution proceedings, the court orders child support and parenting plans as for any marital dissolution involving children.
Mediation and collaborative methods for ending a domestic partnership
When your relationship dissolves, you face many of the same issues as married couples involved in complex divorces. We may encourage you to engage in mediation or collaborative law to reach an agreement on the division of assets, child custody and support issues if alternative dispute resolution is feasible in resolving your issues. We studied mediation at the prestigious Pepperdine University School of Law, Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution and have training in collaborative law techniques. Alan R. Silverman can act as a neutral mediator who guides you and your partner toward an equitable agreement or we can represent you during the mediation or collaborative law process and your partner participates by retaining his or her own counsel.
Learn more about same-sex domestic partnership registration and dissolution issues from us
To learn how our law firm helps same-gender couples with child custody, property and support matters, call Silverman & Silverman, Attorneys at Law, at 415.906.4142 or online to schedule your free, initial telephone consultation.
Located in the San Francisco financial district and just a few blocks away from the Montgomery Street Muni and BART stations, we serve clients throughout the counties of San Francisco, Alameda, Los Angeles, Marin, Napa, Orange, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma, and out of state and out of the country.