Like all couples, LGBT spouses face difficulties in their personal lives and marriages. Sometimes these challenges lead to divorce. While it is hard to end a marriage, it is often the best choice for everyone in the situation. No one wants to continue an unhappy or unhealthy marriage. But LGBT couples can run into issues that heterosexual couples do not. LGBT couples may have their lives deeply legally intertwined without being technically married. They may have a domestic partnership, or they may have a legal marriage entered into in North Carolina or another state. However the marriage came about, these spouses need attorneys who understand the nuances of LGBT family matters and who are prepared to handle divorces that may contain unique circumstances regarding shared property and children. If you are an LGBTQ-identifying individual and need a divorce attorney, call the LGBT Lawyers Winston-Salem for a free consultation.
When you are meeting with potential lawyers for your situation, consider the following factors:
Knowledge of the Law
First and foremost, you want an attorney who has detailed knowledge of North Carolina family and divorce law. You can work with a general practitioner, but it is always best to partner with an attorney who specially takes on family matters and divorces. You will want to ask about the lawyer’s education, training, and experience with divorce, particularly LGBT divorces. In these situations, it may be that the spouses have a domestic partnership or a legal marriage by North Carolina or another state.
The LGBT Lawyers of Winston-Salem understand LGBT couples may come into a divorce with varying backgrounds and are prepared to take on any case. They are well-versed in LGBT family law.
How Many LGBT Divorce Cases Have They Handled?
Many attorneys can say they are prepared to take on LGBT divorces, but that does not mean they have extensive experience with these matters. You should ask for an approximation of the number of cases a lawyer has already worked. You may feel more comfortable hiring a divorce attorney who has worked on dozens of LGBT-related divorces and family matters. This individual may understand not only the law, but the everyday considerations and hardships that go into being an LGBT couple.
Do They Understand the Unique Challenges Facing LGBT Couples?
Many LGBT couples have faced difficulties heterosexual couples have not. LGBT couples only recently won the right to be legally married throughout the U.S. Prior to this, many LGBT couples could only receive domestic partnerships or were not able to formalize their family at all.
LGBT couples often have to take harder roads to have children and to ensure both parents have a right to be in their children’s lives and make decisions for them. During a divorce, child custody and support can be hot button issues. They can also become more complicated if only one parent had legal status as a parent even though both spouses raised the children in their day-to-day lives.
These individuals often regularly face discrimination at work and in their communities. It is crucial that an individual seeking a divorce be able to work with a legal professional who is empathetic and compassionate regarding his or her experiences as an LGBT-identifying person.
Do You Feel Comfortable?
For all individuals looking to hire a divorce attorney, it is important they feel comfortable with the lawyer during the initial consultation. In addition to the attorney’s credentials and experience with LGBT matters, you should work with someone who actively listens, empathizes with your situation, and provides comfort while also giving honest legal advice.
If you do not feel comfortable with the attorney, it will be difficult to be honest about what is going on with you and your family – something that is necessary during a divorce. Your lawyer should never be someone who seems distant or intimidating. You need someone who genuinely wants to fight for your rights.
Will They Handle Your Case With the Attitude You Need?
Some spouses go into a divorce in agreement about what needs to be done. Others are angry and disagree on what is best for themselves or the children. You need a divorce lawyer who will handle the situation in the way you feel is best. If you want you divorce to go as smoothly as possible through mediation or a collaborative divorce, you should ask the lawyer about he or she goes about such situations. How often does he or she work with a client in mediation? How many collaborative divorces has he or she handled?
If you believe you are headed into a contentious battle, ask the lawyer about how he or she takes a strong stance and handles adversity. Is the attorney experienced in difficult divorces? Has he or she handled contentious LGBTQ divorces?
Asking an attorney about his or her fees can be intimidating, but you need a full understanding of what your divorce may cost before you sign a contract with a legal representative. Consider whether the attorney is forthcoming about costs, including necessary court expenses, the attorney’s billed fees, and whether paralegals or legal assistant’s work is ever billed. You want to know exactly what type of work you will be charged for and at what rate.
The LGBT Lawyers Winston-Salem
The dedicated LGBT family law attorneys in Winston Salem of LGBT Lawyers Winston-Salem firmly believe in defending the rights of LGBT individuals and the LGBT community. We understand the hardships members of the LGBT community have faced, and we are determined to ensure everyone who comes into our office experiences a welcoming and safe environment. We are here to listen and to help.
No matter your specific circumstances concerning how you entered into your marriage or created your family, we can handle your case. Whether you are interested in collaborative divorce, mediation, or need someone to aggressively fight for your rights, we are prepared. We have a proven track record of handling LGBT family cases as well as getting beneficial outcomes for their clients.