​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. 

Same-sex Marriage

As of October 10, 2014, same-sex couples are now allowed to get legally married in North Carolina, and their out-of state marriages will also be recognized as of the date of marriage. As a result, same-sex married couples are now subject to the same laws as heterosexual married couples; which means they can take advantage of the many benefits associated with marriage, as well as be subject to the same obligations that accompany marriage.  After serving the LGBT community for over a decade, we at Haas & Associates, P.A. understand the many ramifications that result from the overturning of Amendment One (NC's previous constitutional ban on same-sex marriages).  Consult with an attorney at Haas & Associates, P.A. to learn more about the possible ramifications of your current or anticipated same-sex marriage, and feel free to review our frequently-asked-questions about marriage, divorce and parentage

Angela Haas speaks to WRAL News

Angela Haas was interviewed on WRAL News about the future of same-sex marriage in North Carolina, after Amendment One was ruled to be unconstitutional. Click here to watch the full newscast, and fast forward to the 08:44 mark to watch Angela's interview. 

Forming, Securing and Protecting Families 

  • Property division and property disputes
  • Separation
  • Dissolution / Divorce

Parentage and Custody

Adoption/Parentage

Although Second-parent Adoptions are no longer available in North Carolina, there are a number of ways that LGBT individuals and couples can become parents, which now include Stepparent Adoptions for married couples where one party to the marriage wants to adopt their spouse's child(ren).  As a general rule, you must be married for at lest 6 months before filing for a Stepparent Adoption; however, there are exceptions.  As a general rule, a Court Report may be required in a Stepparent Adoption if you have not been married for at least 2 years; however, there are exceptions.  Consult with an attorney at Haas & Associates, P.A. to learn more about the adoption possibilities related to your specific situation.

For information regarding family formation through the use of egg donors, sperm donors, or surrogacy, please visit our assisted reproduction law page. 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 in North Carolina (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. In addition to the questions listed below, whether and when (and under what circumstances) you became married to the biological/legal parent may also play an important role in determining the extent of your parenting rights.

Pre-pregnancy

During pregnancy

At Birth

 Adoption

Medical

Educational/Extra-curricular

Separation, Dissolution/Divorce

Now that same-sex marriages are available and recognized in North Carolina, same-sex couples are also able to utilize North Carolina separation and divorce statutes to assist them with dissolution of their marital union.  While "divorce" itself is the definitive line between being married and no longer being married, there are many other issues related to a divorce that should be addressed.  These include division of property and support rights, in addition to many other rights and obligations which can be lost if not properly preserved. At Haas & Associates, P.A., our experience with handling various disputes related to the break up of heterosexual married couples can be a valuable resource, especially when combined with our experience with same-sex couples and the application of marriage law to same-sex couples. See our "Family Law" section for more information, and call us for more information regarding your specific situation.

Same-sex couples who are not married, but still desire to dissolve their relationship, will be subject to the 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. Often, these agreements can make all the difference in how your relationship rights will be handled, in the event of a future dispute.  At Haas & Associates, P.A., our experience with handling various disputes related to the break up of same-sex couples, especially when a partnership agreement has not yet been drafted or executed, can be a valuable resource. Call us for more information regarding your specific situation.

Partnership agreements are particularly important for couples where:

Here are some facts to consider regarding the dangers to unmarried same-sex couples:

Consult with an attorney at Haas & Associates, P.A. to learn more about the possible ramifications of, and options concerning, your current or anticipated same-sex marriage and/or "divorce" (separation).

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.