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Pride 2017: 3 Things To Know About LGBT Family Law In Michigan

June is Pride Month, so we'd like to share some legal matters of interest to our LGBT clients. If you would like to discuss these issues and protect yourself and your family, we are here to help. 

1. Adoption Discrimination Isn't Prohibited By Law 
The law allows private adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples on the basis of religion. Fortunately, there are many adoption agencies that welcome LGBT parents. When pursuing adoption, let our firm connect you to agencies that welcome same-sex applicants, then take care of the legal proceedings so your family is protected to the fullest extent of the law. 

2. Judges May Favor Biology in Divorce and Child Custody 
Cases of divorce and child custody are often difficult, especially when there is little precedent among LGBT families in Michigan. 

In some cases, courts may favor the biological parent, whether it's the birth mother or biological father over the partner who co-parented or adopted a preexisting child. In other cases, someone who served as a sperm donor to an LGBT couple may want legal rights in a child's life. In all cases of divorce and custody, it's important to have a lawyer who has a track record of success with LGBT cases representing you and your needs. 

3. Even After Marriage Rights, LGBT Families Need Estate Planning
After Michigan families won the right to marry, many LGBT couples assumed their spousal benefits supplanted the need for comprehensive estate planning. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee your last wishes will be respected if you forego estate planning. For instance, clear health care directives empower your same-sex spouse to make medical decisions on your behalf. Estate planning also reduces your tax burden, which benefits your loved ones after you pass. 

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Schwartz Law Firm
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