Get Legal Advice About Your Same-Sex Relationship
Unfortunately, gay couples in Delaware are not extended nearly enough rights and protection under state law. Consulting with a lawyer is often the only way for you and your family to enjoy all available legal protections. We are the family law attorneys of Carucci Di Lorenzo, LLC. and we recommend same-sex couples seek legal counsel:
- When they start living together
- When they decide to have a child or raise a child together
- When the relationship splits up
- When they have any questions or concerns regarding their legal rights
Protecting the Relationship Between Parent and Child
The bond between parents and children is unmatched by any other relationship. However, in addition to the emotional support, parental guidance and other emotional elements, there are also legal benefits to the parent-child relationship. Delaware has extended the rights of biological parents to same-sex partners who adopt their partner’s child, a process referred to as second parent adoption. In a second parent adoption, the child’s non-biological parent (the partner of the biological parent) is granted full parental rights.
The child is given the right to inheritance, Social Security benefits and other benefits of the non-biological parent. The non-biological parent, in turn, is granted protection from any third party custody suits in the event that his or her partner (the biological parent) should die or become incapacitated. Second parent adoptions also grant the non-biological parent the right to pursue child custody or visitation should the relationship between partners split up in the future. As experienced family law attorneys, we can help gay couples through second parent adoptions in Delaware.
Protecting Financial Interests Between Partners
When we meet with same-sex couples, our foremost concern is to ensure their rights are preserved and protected. Because gay couples do not enjoy many of the rights and legal protections given to married heterosexual couples, it is essential to plan for the unexpected. Part of what we do in these cases involves thorough estate planning. We guide clients through the creation of wills, advanced medical directives and other estate planning devices. These tools not only protect your partner’s right to inheritance, they also protect your partner in the event you become ill. Without the appropriate documentation, your partner will not be considered family and may thus be ineligible to make critical decisions regarding your health care.
It is also critical to consider how property or assets are titled and how debts/liabilities and assets will be divided if the relationship ever ends. We will shepherd you through the process of negotiating and drafting a cohabitation agreement that thoroughly addresses each of these issues.
Protecting Your Interests in Dissolution
Should your same-sex relationship ever break down, we are familiar with the court processes available to resolve property disputes and other legal issues that gay couples must confront when they separate. We can advocate for your interests in property disputes and help you preserve your financial interests. Real property division usually entails partitioning the property in the Court of Chancery so that you can get your money out of the property.
We are the attorneys of Carucci Di Lorenzo, LLC. and we are committed to helping clients preserve their same-sex family – whether that means protecting the interests between same-sex partners or preserving the bond between parent and child. Contact our law firm in Wilmington, Delaware, to schedule your consultation. Call 302-654-5083 or e-mail us.