LGBT History Month
Today marks the start of LGBT History month, an event that marks the history of and celebrates the development of rights for the LGBT community.
Family law has developed rapidly in some respects to reflect society’s changing attitudes towards LGBT rights. For example, 2002 saw the law change to allow same-sex couples to adopt, followed in 2005 by the first civil partnerships between same sex couples. After much campaigning, the law was again changed in 2013 to allow same-sex couples to marry or convert their civil partnership to a marriage.
Lester Aldridge’s family team is able to offer advice, support and guidance with respect to a range of family matters that affect LGBT families. For example, the grounds for dissolving a civil partnership are slightly different to the grounds for obtaining a divorce. The terminology can be confusing too, with conditional orders instead of decree nisi, and final dissolution orders in place of decree absolute. The family team are able to help navigate this minefield of terminology and orders in a sensitive manner.
In addition to assisting LGBT clients whose civil partnership or marriage has broken down, we are able to advise and assist those who are starting a family of their own, be that through adoption, surrogacy or co-parenting.
Co-parenting, for example, is becoming increasingly common. We are able to advise on an agreement between the parents or sets of parents that sets out how they will bring up their child, with the aim of trying to prevent future disagreements and disputes. Should there be a disagreement about the upbringing of a child, we can offer advice on how best to resolve that situation.
For couples who explore the surrogacy route, both in England and Wales or abroad, we can offer advice and guidance on how to ensure you are legally registered as a child’s parents and explain the legalities of surrogacy agreements in England, which is very different to other countries.
As a Stonewall accredited firm we offer specialist advice to the LGBT community and ensure that your matter is handled sensitively and discreetly. Throughout the 2017 LGBT history month we will provide more information on the particular aspects of family law that apply to LGBT families. If you have a query or wish to discuss matters further, contact a member of the family team on 01202 786161.