Same-Sex Couples And Family Law

There has been considerable movement in the rights of individuals and families in the LGBTQ community here in New York and across the country. New York State legalized gay marriage, civil unions and other gay marriage statutes in 2011. In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that same-sex marriage rights as law in all 50 states. This has had a major impact upon parental rights of same-sex parents who are facing divorce, challenging custody disputes and other important family law issues.

Under previous laws, child custody issues for same-sex couples hinged on the fact that nonbiological parents were treated as stepparents who did not have equal parental rights unless the parent had legally adopted the child. It was rightfully determined that it was the children who were punished by depriving a parent legal access to them. Before the change in the law, the only way to circumvent this was to deem the biological parent as unfit.

The legal team of Mattingly Cavagnaro, LLP, actively supports these changes in the law. Mr. Mattingly was president of the New York Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) from 2011 until 2013, where he helped establish the academy's new position on marriage rights as it applied to the changing legal landscape. With these changes, LGBTQ couples now face many of the same family law issues as male-female couples.

How These Changes Effect Family Law

The shift where both parents have equal individual and parental rights affects several areas of family law, including:

Contact Our Office To Discuss Your Same-Sex Family Law Needs

Conveniently located in downtown Buffalo, our attorneys serve same-sex divorce needs of couples in town and the surrounding communities in western New York. Call 716-262-8040 or use our Contact page to schedule an appointment with one of our lawyers. Initial consultations are free and confidential.