Committed couples of all ethnicities, religions, creeds and sexual orientation deserve the same rights and privileges under the law, according to the California attorneys at Nachshin & Langlois. Since the firm’s inception in the early 90s, the family law attorneys at Nachshin & Langlois have been assisting gay and lesbian couples with their cohabitation legal needs. On May 15, 2008 a 4-3 decision by the Supreme Court of California overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriages, allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry beginning June 16, 2008. Nachshin & Langlois now provides the same wide range of family law services that, until the court case ruling, were available only to heterosexual married couples.
Massachusetts, and now California are the only two states that recognize and sanction the marriage of same-sex couples. California recognizes marriages from all states and countries so long as the marriage was lawfully obtained from that state or country. If a party chooses to file for divorce, one of the parties must reside in California for a minimum of six months before the Court will assume jurisdiction over the divorce.
Under this new amendment, all gay and lesbian marriages in California afford couples the same benefits as heterosexual marriages including filing joint state income tax returns, obtaining dependency medical coverage, etc. Unfortunately, the Federal government is not yet affording gay and lesbian couples any benefits offered to heterosexual married couples. Thus, gay and lesbian couples are not able to file joint federal income tax returns nor are they eligible for federal benefits such as dependency social security rights.
Shortly after the amendment was upheld, UCLA’s Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy projected that about half of California’s more than 100,000 same-sex couples will wed between 2008 and 2011 and that 68,000 out-of-state couples will travel to California to exchange vows.
The November 2008 ballot in California will contain Proposition 8, a proposed state constitutional amendment that will restrict legally recognized marriages to heterosexual couples. The highly-knowledgeable team of attorneys at Nachshin & Langlois is well aware of the laws that govern family law matters and also understands the many intricacies of what will occur (although not expected) should the proposed amendment be passed by California voters.
Nachshin & Langlois offers the following to gay and lesbian couples with regard to same-sex marriage:
- Advice and legal counsel as to same-sex marriage rights
- Dissolution of marriage
- Legal separation
- Child custody
- Child and spousal support orders and modifications
- Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
- Palimony issues
- Nullity of marriage
- Domestic partnerships
- Referral sources for the adoption of children