In August of 2013, Minnesota fully recognized and legalized same-sex marriage. A couple of years later, federal law followed suit. Through it all, Gjesdahl Law has advocated for Minnesota’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens.
Yet, LGBTQ individuals continue to face unique legal challenges, navigating outdated laws and court practices relative to marriage, divorce, child custody, and adoption.
All Families Are Loved
At Gjesdahl Law, we both celebrate and care for families whenever we have the chance. When Minnesota legalized same-sex marriage, Gjesdahl Law joined the celebration, providing cupcakes at Clay County’s midnight mass marriage. Our cultural identity defines “family” as unlimited by considerations of sexual preference or gender identity. We are committed to equality and respect.
Obergefell v. Hodges, a landmark civil rights case, legalized same-sex marriage. Where there is marriage, of course, there is divorce. A same-sex divorce is a little different than any other divorce. It is emotionally difficult and involves the central components of our lives, our relationship with our children, the distribution of our assets, and our future standard of living.
Minnesota recognizes two kinds of assets. There are “non-marital assets,” and each party keeps their own. Such assets include premarital, inherited, and gifted assets. Everything else is a “marital asset” and the value of the total amount of such assets is usually divided equally. Determining whether assets are marital or non-marital can be complex. So can correctly identifying each assets value. It helps to have an experienced divorce attorney on your side.
In Minnesota, determining custody in a same-sex divorce is no different than in an opposite-sex divorce. The Court assesses a series of considerations known as “the best interests of the child” factors. The court’s goal is to create an individualized parenting plan that serves those interests. Learn more about child custody in Minnesota.
Gay adoption is legal and recognized in Minnesota. Single or married adults may petition for adoption regardless of their gender and sexual orientation. Likewise, an individual can petition to adopt a same-sex partner’s child. The largest adoption agency in the state, MN ADOPT (formerly known as Minnesota Adoption Resource Network), helps same-sex partners adopt.
Birth certificates in Minnesota identify parents as Parent and Parent rather than Mother and Father.
If an unmarried LGBTQ individual has a child or adopts a child, their partner, has no legal custody of the child. The other parent must go through the step-parent adoption process in order to have a legal relationship with the child.