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Navigating child custody and same-sex marriage in North Carolina

The federal government has legalized gay marriage across the nation -- including in the state of North Carolina -- but that does not mean that homosexual parents will be treated just like heterosexual parents by the court system in their divorce proceedings when it comes to child custody concerns. Same-sex divorce can bring to the surface complicated legal issues surrounding child support and child custody.

For this reason, same-sex parents should consult with a family law attorney as soon as a child that the two parents have decided to raise as their own enters their lives. In particular, any non-biological parents of the child will want to ensure that their parental rights are secure. In order to do this, it may be necessary for the non-biological parent to complete the adoption process. Without formally adopting the child in question, the non-biological parent might not be treated the same as the biological parent during divorce proceedings and he or she could be in danger of losing both parental and visitation rights.

In cases that involve the dissolving of domestic partnership agreements, tenancy agreements and cohabitation agreements, other contentious and difficult-to-resolve issues may also surface relating to property and debt division. A lawyer who is experienced in dealing with matters relating to same-sex partnerships will play an important role in helping to equitably dissolve these kinds of agreements.

At Epperson Law, PLLC, we have served LGBTQ clients throughout Winston-Salem, Charlotte, Boone and nearby areas by helping to successfully navigate their same-sex marriages, domestic partnerships and parenting issues. In all cases, it is best to consult with a family law attorney when entering into a same-sex marriage, and especially when that marriage will involve children.