Divorce and related issues like custody and dividing assets are still relatively new legal concepts for married same-sex couples. Nevertheless, attorney Keith Schulefand has been at the forefront of this issue here in Buffalo and across the region. Therefore, it is no surprise that attorney Schulefand was extensively quoted in a recent Bizjournals article.
Mr. Schulefand was quick to point out that, “I would say it’s no different. It shouldn’t be any different; it’s marriage. It should be irrespective of the gender of the parties.”
Many will recall that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling from 2015 that said that the Constitution guarantees same sex marriage as a fundamental right, but New York State passed its own law in 2011.
These laws guarantee that same-sex disputes involving family law will be handled in the same way as heterosexual couples. This includes:
- Child support
- Spousal maintenance
- And other matters
Mr. Schulefand went on to add that he has handled 10 same-sex divorce cases since the federal law ruling. “I think we’re fortunate in Erie County. I don’t think the lawyers or the court view the situation any differently. There’s not a perceived bias or an expectation that anyone would be treated any different.”
Recent cases clarify same sex custody
When the laws regarding custody with same sex parents were first written, custody was awarded to the biological parent regardless of the circumstances involved in the divorce. Now with new case law rulings in place, each parent is regarded equally under the law.
While the article points out that attorneys in Western New York are open to handling same sex cases, an attorney who is up to date on recent case law can be a tremendous asset to their clients. They understand these new laws and how they are being interpreted, which can mean knowledgeable and effective representation that offers piece of mind to clients.