Although same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 States (hooray!), legal challenges are being filed daily to try and undermine those rights.
There are many areas that same-sex couples do and will continue to need assistance with when it comes to family law matters. Our law firm helps gay and lesbian couples explore their various options for forming a family. It is very important that the individuals in a same sex relationship consult an attorney competent to address the complex issues. At Eastside Legal we have attorneys experienced to help you navigate your legal matters.
The following list of the types of documents can help protect your legal relationship with your partner:
Health Care Proxy (Sometimes called a Medical Power of Attorney or Advance Directive):
Allows you to designate the person you would want to make medical decisions if you become mentally or physically incapacitated, and allows you to detail types of treatment you would or would not want to receive. Also grants hospital visitation rights and access to medical information for the person designated as the health care proxy. Anyone over 18 years of age can be designated a health care proxy.
Durable Power of Attorney:
Allows you to designate someone to manage your personal finances and/or your business affairs. May also allow you to designate a person to make medical decisions on your behalf.
Note: A Power of Attorney is only valid when you are competent; however, a Durable Power of Attorney becomes effective upon disability and remains effective. Therefore, a Durable Power of Attorney provides the most protection and should be used whenever possible.
Joint Tenancy Agreement (Sometimes called a Co-Tenancy Agreement):
Two people may hold real estate, bank accounts, cars, or other property as “joint tenants.” Upon death, property passes directly to the survivor without going through probate court.
Directs the distribution of property to individuals and organizations you choose; names an executor to carry out your instructions.
Burial Instructions (Sometimes called a Declaration As To Remains):
Can be included in a will. However, because burial is often completed before a will is located, a separate letter of instruction is recommended.
Living Together Agreement (Sometimes called a Cohabitation Agreement):
Similar in some ways to pre-nuptial agreements, often these documents help couples clarify their intentions and expectations regarding financial issues while they are getting along, and contain instructions on what will happen to joint property and co-mingled finances if the couple breaks up.
Used to inform a hospital of your wish to provide your spouse with all of your medical information and updates.
ENDING A RELATIONSHIP
When it comes to couples of same sex marriages ending their relationships, these couples face the same concerns that heterosexual couples come across when they divorce or separate.
Individuals going through this process (regardless of their sexual orientation) are likely wondering how they will divide property that they share, how their financial responsibilities for their children will be divided and what their children's living arrangements will be.
Our team at Eastside Legal helps gay and lesbian individuals in this situation take the best steps for working out the appropriate property division, child support , spousal support,child custody and visitation arrangements with their former spouses.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR CHALLENGES AND NEEDS
At Eastside Legal, we understand that as a gay or lesbian individual, you face certain bias and challenges that heterosexual individuals do not have to worry about. We also know that because of this fact, you need a strong attorney on your side advocating for your rights and pushing for the best results possible for you and your children. Navigating Tennessee’s legal system is no easy task, so it is best to consult with an experienced legal professional. experience. Let our extensive experience work for your benefit. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you!