We support LGBT and same-sex families

The attorney and staff at Haas & Associates, P.A. know that families come in many different forms.  We help two-parent families, same-sex couples, single parents, multi-generational families, foster families and those related not by blood, but by love.  Regardless of the form the family takes, our first concern is to achieve security for all families and to put the interests of the children first. Our goal is to develop creative and effective solutions to protect LGBT families in partnership, estate planning, adoption and parentage matters:

Forming, Securing and Protecting Families 

  • Property division and property disputes
  • Child custody
  • Placement

Parentage and Custody

Parentage

Although Second Parent Adoptions are not currently available in North Carolina, there are a number of ways that LGBT individuals and couples can become parents. For information regarding family formation through the use of egg donors, sperm donors, or surrogacy, please visit our assisted reproduction law page. For information about the availability of adoptions/adoption alternatives, please schedule a consultation. The attorneys at Haas & Associates, P.A. pride ourselves on keeping up with the ever-changing landscape of rights available to same-sex individuals and couples. Contact us today, as the number of options available may surprise you! 

Custody in LGBT and Non-traditional Families

The same decision that struck down Second Parent Adoptions (Boseman v. Jarrell)  in 2010, actually strengthened child custody rights for non-biological/legal same-sex parents. Other recent North Carolina case law has also shown a trend towards recognizing custodial rights in non-biological/non-legal parents.  It is important for LGBT couples who are parents or looking to become parents to understand their rights and obligations regarding their children both during the relationship, and in the event that the relationship (between the parents) were to end.  

Information for Non-Biological/Non-Legal Parents

For custody disputes between two biological or two legal parents, the court examines the question of what custodial arrangement is in the best interests of the child. When there is a custody issue between a non-biological/non-legal parent and a biological/legal parent, the court will first have to find that the non-biological/non-legal parent has standing to pursue custody of the child. Only if the court decides that the non-biological/non-legal parent does have standing, will the court examine what is in the best interests of the child. 

When deciding custody issues between a biological/legal parent and a non-biological/legal parent, North Carolina courts have often looked for evidence of the intent of the biological/legal parent to create a permanent parent-child relationship between the other party and the child. The existence of a parenting agreement is strong and clear evidence of that intent.  However, the court will also analyze other factors, like those listed below, to examine the intent of the biological/legal parent. The more questions in which the non-biological/non-legal parent can answer "yes," the more likely it is that the court will find that you have standing to pursue custody of your child. 

Pre-pregnancy

During pregnancy

At Birth

 Adoption

Medical

Educational/Extra-curricular

Dissolution and Separation

Since same-sex marriage is currently invalid and unrecognized in North Carolina, same-sex couples are also unable to utilize North Carolina separation and divorce statutes to assist them with relationship dissolution. This means that when same-sex couples separate, they are often subject to North Carolina laws that were not designed to be used in domestic contexts, and often result in clumsy and inappropriate outcomes. That is why it is extremely important for same-sex partners to draft a partnership agreement that sets out each party's right and obligations both during the relationship, and in the event that the relationship dissolves.

Partnership agreements are particularly important for couples where:

Here are some facts to consider regarding the dangers to same sex couples in not being able to utilize North Carolina separation and divorce statutes:

North Carolina has both a statutory law and a constitutional amendment, which ban the recognition of same-sex marriages and other same-sex unions in North Carolina.  As a result, same-sex couples cannot marry each other in North Carolina, nor will their out-of-state same-sex marriages be recognized. Likewise, the marriages of same-sex couples married outside of North Carolina will not be given recognition in North Carolina.  As a result of the statutory and constitutional bans, to date, same-sex marriages will not be afforded an opportunity to be dissolved in North Carolina.  Click on the Same-sex Marriage/Divorce Chart to learn more about the status of same-sex marriages/divorces in North Carolina and other states, and consult with an attorney at Haas & Associates, P.A., to learn more about the possible ramifications of your current or anticipated marriage/divorce.

Transgender issues

Transgender individuals incur a myriad of legal obstacles before, during and after their transition from one sex to another including—

  • Name change
  • Birth certificates
  • Driver's licenses
  • Marriage issues
  • Parental rights
  • Access to public facilities
  • Social Security cards
  • Other vital records

It is important to obtain the proper protection before, during and after the process.  The attorneys of Haas & Associates, P.A. are here to advise and help.