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same sex family law Archives

U.S. Supreme Court will not hear same-sex child custody case

There are many different ways a same-sex couple in Tennessee can have a child. One option they may choose is to have a child using a sperm donor via artificial insemination. However, this brings up issues regarding child custody if the parents get a divorce.

Same-sex couples should consider pre-nups or post-nups

When same-sex marriage became legal in the United States, many same-sex couples rushed to the altar to finally enjoy a fundamental right they had been denied. Unfortunately, some of these marriages were not well-thought out, and some couples later faced a messy divorce. However, what we can learn from the situation is that by executing a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement, same-sex couples in Tennessee can protect their financial interests should their marriage not last.

Same-sex couples face unique issues in the divorce process

2015 saw a monumental decision by the United States Supreme Court. That year the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples had the same right to marry, just as heterosexual couples did. This meant that same-sex marriage was made legal in Tennessee and every other state in the nation. Of course, this also meant that, once married, same-sex couples also had the right to seek a legal divorce. And, it is becoming apparent that couples going through a same-sex divorce may face some issues that heterosexual couples do not face.

Important ruling in Tennessee for same-sex parents

It is important for same-sex couples in Tennessee and elsewhere to understand their rights and the resources the family law process provides to them. A judge in Tennessee recently ruled that same-sex couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples to children born through artificial insemination. Four lesbian couples in Tennessee brought the lawsuit. Each of the four couples is expecting a child conceived using a sperm donor; the first child is expected in September. A recent United States Supreme Court lawsuit also ruled in favor of same-sex parental rights.

The family law system provides resources for same-sex couples

Along with the recognition of same-sex marriages throughout the country comes the need for same-sex couples to address the same considerations as heterosexual couples related to divorce and divorce-related issues. Same-sex couples who are married and wishing to divorce will need to utilize the family law process when they are seeking to separate or divorce. The family law process can help them with their divorce-related concerns.

After lengthy court battle, divorce granted for lesbian couple

After a hard-fought divorce and custody battle, a Tennessee lesbian couple has finally been granted a divorce and a split custody arrangement to care for their child. The judge on the case changed his mind after originally ruling that one of the women had no parental rights to the child, who was conceived via artificial insemination, as she does not legally qualify as a "husband." This case will likely have a major impact on same sex family law issues in Tennessee.

Natural Marriage Defense Act may eliminate same sex marriage

In 2015, the United States Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal all across the country with their ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. Because of this ruling, same-sex couples in every state are legally permitted to marry and have their marriages recognized by the court system. Same-sex couples are also allowed to divorce and are subject to the same divorce court procedures as other couples. However, a new bill, sponsored by Representative Mark Pody and Senator Mae Beavers, may cause same-sex family law issues in Tennessee. The bill will soon be brought in front of the House Civil Justice Subcommittee.

Proposed Tennessee law could affect same-sex parents

In the aftermath of the 2015 Supreme Court of the U.S. decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, many Tennessee same-sex couples may have felt vindicated, with the understanding that they would now be afforded the same right to marry and raise families as heterosexual couples. Unfortunately, in many places, there are still tendrils of state government resistant to this idea, and some representatives are acting on it.

Appellate court has yet to decide whether it will hear same-sex divorce case

Thanks to the landmark decision reached by the Supreme Court of the United States last summer in Obergefell v. Hodges, same-sex marriage is now legally recognized in all 50 states, meaning all married couples -- regardless of their sexual orientation -- now enjoy the same rights and responsibilities.

Adopting children after Obergefell vs. Hodges

Many same-sex couples pursue adoption as a way of growing their families, in addition to surrogacy or assisted reproduction. Before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the United States last June, same-sex couples often found themselves facing a long, complex adoption process. For many, this is still the case. The court's decision only applies to couples' ability to get married (or divorced). The issue of adoption is thus still largely governed by state law.

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Mathis, Bates & Klinghard PLLC
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