Melbourne, Florida: (321) 984-4100
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Same Sex Family Law and other Legal Needs and Planning

The legalization of same sex marriage by the US Supreme Court in 2015 created a variety of new challenges within families. Not only were same sex couples permitted to legally marry in all 50 states, they were also granted the right to divorce, which meant all the legal issues that arise with divorce were now a concern.

Among these issues were stepparent adoption, estate planning, and adoption rights, to name a few. Today, laws governing same sex marriages are just as varied and complicated as those pertaining to heterosexual couples and as time passes and more and more situations arise, it is expected that family laws will continue to evolve.

And just as is the case in all areas of family law, same sex family laws can be complicated, even when the matter seems relatively settled. This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to work with an attorney who is experienced not only with family law but also in dealing with same sex couples and the unique challenges they face.

What are some of the most common questions that arise in same sex family law?

Parenting Issues

Same sex families that have children encounter a variety of challenges not found in male-female marriages because the children biologically only belong to one of the parents or neither of the parents. This means adoption is almost always an issue in same sex families – either a complete adoption of a child or a single parent adoption if the child is biologically the product of one parent.

It’s important for same sex families to make sure their children are protected and that arrangements are made to ensure the cohesiveness and protection of the entire family.


In most cases, now that same sex marriage is federal law, tax laws apply in the same way to all legally married couples. However, same sex couples often have questions about their tax situation and need guidance with their financial issues.

Pre-marriage Planning and Prenuptial Agreements

Just the same as heterosexual couples, many same sex couples choose to create a prenuptial or pre-marriage agreement.

Additionally, since same sex marriage just became legal in recent years, many same sex couples have an extensive history together long before their legal marriage. This can play a role, and many couples want it to, in the division of assets should they ever choose to end their marriage.

End-of-Life and Estate Planning

Estate planning issues for same sex couples are much the same as they are for heterosexual couples, with some exceptions. Not only is it important for same sex couples to make end-of-life and estate planning a priority in general, they also must address the issues that might arise due to their same sex marriage, such as legal guardianship of children.

Assisting Same Sex Couples with Family Law Needs

My primary legal focus is Florida Family Law, but I also remain active in both the New Jersey and New York Bars. I’ve assisted same sex couples a variety of family law issues and I’m familiar with laws regarding marriage and divorce in all three states.

My team and I are able to assist same sex couples with a variety of legal issues, including:

  • Divorce
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Estate planning
  • Advance directives, health care powers and powers of attorney
  • Partner adoption
  • Employee benefits
  • Dissolution of civil unions
  • Custody and support orders
  • Property division

I’m uniquely qualified to handle a variety of issues and to provide support for clients who want to work with a single attorney who understands same sex marriage laws in Florida, New York, and New Jersey. I’m also able to travel and work throughout the three states and can provide clients with a range of options and information.

If you’re dealing with a situation that involves alimony or support related to your divorce or any other family law matter, Wayne F. Jentis, Esq. and East Coast Law, P.A. can help. We have offices headquartered in Melbourne, Florida (321) 984-4100, with satellite offices and phone numbers in Princeton, New Jersey (609) 921-0033, and New York, New York (212) 729-9987.

For more information or to learn how you can move forward with your legal matter, please contact us at one of the numbers above to schedule a consultation.  We provide in depth consultations for a nominal fee that can help you understand your legal rights and to provide you with various options you may have to address your concerns.

Contact Us

East Coast Law P.A.

A FL, NJ & NY Law Firm

FLORIDA Main Office
1900 S. Harbor City Blvd.
Suite 315
Melbourne, FL 32901
Ph: (321) 984-4100
Fax: (888) 471-5693

New Jersey
475 Wall St.
Princeton, NJ 08540
Ph. (609) 921-0033
Fax: (609) 921-8668

New York
130 Malcolm X Blvd.
Suite 1107
New York, NY 11026
Ph. (212) 729-9987
Fax: (888) 471-5693