Family Stabilization

Children conceived by fertility treatment

If you are parenting a child conceived with donor gametes or via reciprocal IVF, consider formal adoption of the child. Do not rely on marriage or birth certificates to protect parental rights. An adoption is a court order and will provide the highest level of protection.

LGBT+ partnerships

Marriage rights in the United States have been historically determined on a state-by-state basis. Same-sex marriage rights were granted nationally as a result of the Supreme Court Case Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015. The decision is not expected to be immediately rescinded; if the decision is reversed, same-sex marriages already conducted are expected to still be recognized. Those who intend to have a legal same-sex marriage are therefore advised to legally tie the knot sooner rather than later.

If you are parenting a child who is not biologically your own, consider formal adoption of the child to protect parental rights. The National Center for Lesbian Rights provides a fact sheet with a summary of state laws relating to second parent adoptions.

Marriage considerations

Know where you can get a marriage license & what the legal requirements are before you get married.

Choosing to marry will affect your taxes in the United States. If you get legally married by the end of the calendar year, the IRS considers you to be married for that whole year.

Getting married is in fact forming a contract with another person. Exactly what happens varies by state, but you may become liable for your new spouse’s debts and have rights to their assets. Legally recognized marriages will impact things like taxes, financial aid, and student loans, so think about your financial position.

Getting a divorce usually costly – several thousand dollars. Have conversations about finances, property, retirement accounts, etc. BEFORE you get married. Just because we have this right now doesn’t mean we need to jump into it tomorrow – it takes a lot of money, time and headache to undo it.

There are pre-nupital forms you can get online that can help structure a discussion about how this might work in terms of splitting assets; having at least some conversation before you do this can potentially save you a lot of trouble later.

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