With Legal Marriage Comes Legal Responsibilities

By Amanda Shelton

With marriage equality on the horizon, LGBT couples have a number of important legal matters to consider before and after tying the knot. Although a valid marriage license provides many legal benefits, all couples need to ensure their families and assets are protected. The Shelton & Deon Law Group has vast experience assisting LGBT couples legally through all stages of their relationships.

Although not exactly the romantic side of marriage, any couple prior to marriage should consider a prenuptial agreement. Prenuptial agreements are often utilized in cases of a second marriage or where one party enters the marriage with significantly more wealth or earning potential than the other. Prenuptial agreements are consistently upheld in Michigan when properly drafted and executed. Such agreements will protect your assets and help ensure a desired distribution upon your death or divorce.

LGBT couples must also take steps to ensure their children are legally tied to both parents. If Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage is overturned as expected, Michigan LGBT couples will be able to obtain a second-parent adoption for their children.

With or without a second parent adoption option, there are a number of estate planning documents that should be executed to protect your children, spouse and loved ones. It is imperative that all couples have up to date estate packages to nominate guardians of their minor children, direct the distribution of assets and provide for who will make medical and financial decisions in the event of medical emergency, disability or death.

With marriage equality will also come the opportunity to dissolve marriages performed in other states. Many same-sex couples who have been married elsewhere but reside in Michigan have found themselves unable to divorce in Michigan and, due to residency requirements, unable to divorce in the state in which they were married. Marriage equality will provide those unhappily married people the legal avenue to divorce one another.

The Shelton & Deon Law Group attorneys care about the legal challenges that gay and lesbian couples face and have been on the front line fighting for LGBT rights. If you are interested in learning more about what the Shelton & Deon Law Group can do for you and your family, please visit our website at http://www.sheltondeonlaw.com or contact us at 248-494-7444 today.
  • Latest News

Enter To Win

Enter contests to win great prizes like CDs, DVDs, concert tickets and more

Special Section: Automotive
Former Chrysler Executive Talks Workplace Inclusivity

As an openly gay man, Fred Hoffman said, "I really didn't know if there would be an issue." And while he wasn't waving rainbow flags when he was recruited by Chrysler in 1988, he was told being gay wasn't a problem.

View More Automotive
This Week's Issue

Download or view this week's print issue today!