Lesbian, Gay And Transgender Issues
Kathleen D. Schneider and her staff have been helping LGBT people with their specific legal needs for over 30 years. Kathleen has served the community in many ways, including the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on LGBT Issues, the Allegheny County Bar Association’s LGBT Committee, the Persad Center Board of Directors (27 years), Renaissance City Choir and the International GALA Choruses Board.
Marriage And Nontraditional Partnerships
The U.S. Supreme Court held in 2013 that the federal government was required to recognize lesbian and gay marriages, and in May 2014, Pennsylvania’s courts recognized gay marriage. Many states followed suit, and a subsequent U.S. Supreme Court case cemented the result. Gay and lesbian couples who had never imagined that they would have the right to marry now have some significant decisions to make. Many couples had done significant financial planning assuming they would never be married, but they could not take advantage of some of the benefits that marriage offers, including the avoidance of federal and state inheritance and estate tax benefits on transfers between spouses. Now, gay and lesbian couples, along with all couples, can make decisions as to whether marriage is appropriate. There are numerous factors to consider, including Social Security survival benefits, responsibility for your spouse who is in a nursing home, inheritance taxes, Medicaid benefits and estate planning. Lesbian and gay couples are in the unique position, after many years of being together, to decide what makes the most sense, both emotionally and financially, regarding marriage.
If marriage is not in your future, couples still should carefully consider how they will arrange their financial affairs, including home ownership, bank accounts and inheritances. In some cases, legal agreements may be advisable to meet the needs of both of you.
In either case, Kathleen and her team can help you understand your options and draft documents and agreements between you and your new spouse or partner.
Pre- And Postnuptial And Partnership Agreements
Many couples, especially those who have children or significant assets, find value and peace of mind in setting up agreements before, during, or after marriage or engaging in a long-term partnership.
Divorce And Breakups
We are here to help you through divorce or a partnership breakup. We understand the particular issues that face LGBT people during this difficult time and will guide you through the process. We can also help you avoid going to court by using collaboration or mediation.
Kathleen has been helping the transgender community for many years, in obtaining name and gender marker changes, family issues, divorces, marriages, breakups. As an advocate for the transgender community, Kathleen has also conducted educational sessions for members of the trans community, assisting persons who are transitioning in navigating the pathways to a successful result. We can assist you with name and gender changes.
Estate planning is important for everyone, and especially so for couples who are not married or who wish to provide for children in blended families. Wills, powers of attorney and living wills are of the utmost importance in making sure your affairs are taken care of in the event of disability or death. We have been helping individuals and couples for many years in drafting estate planning documents.
Contact Our Qualified Lawyers Today
The best way for same-sex couples in Pennsylvania to address family law issues is to talk with an LGBT family law attorney who has knowledge and extensive experience specific to the LGBT community. Call the Law Offices of Kathleen D. Schneider in Pittsburgh at 412-342-8577, or contact us online.