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Same-Sex Family Law


Same-sex Family Law Issues

Same-sex domestic relations issues took on a new framework in 2014 with decisions in the cases of Condon v. Haley and Bradacs v. Haley. In the case of Condon v. Haley, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Gergel issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the South Carolina Attorney General from enforcing any state law that attempts to prohibit same-sex marriage or interfere with the fundamental right to marry of same-sex couples. In the case of Bradacs v. Haley, U.S. District Court Judge Michelle Childs issued a ruling that recognizes out-of-state same-sex marriages in South Carolina.

These two cases introduce a new framework for same-sex domestic relations and give legitimacy to same-sex relationships. Prior to 2014, same-sex partners were frequently in violation of standard family court restraining orders which prohibit parents from living with paramours. Same-sex partners were treated unequally in custody disputes. In addition, same-sex partnerships which ended were treated as civil partnerships for purposes of dividing assets and liabilities of the union.
Now family courts have jurisdiction over same-sex marriages and will begin applying the same laws regarding alimony, child support, and equitable division of assets and liabilities of the marriage to all marriages.
We have provided same-sex estate planning advice for several years and we strive to be at the forefront of same-sex marital issues in South Carolina. If you or anyone you know has questions or concerns about same-sex domestic relations issues, contact us.