While New Hampshire recognizes the right of same-sex couples to marry, many other states and countries still don’t grant recognition to such marriages. Most gay and lesbian couples will be impacted by the laws of these other places, either through travel, relocation or because they have family, employers or other connections based out-of-state. As a result, same-sex couples have unique legal needs compared to couples in traditionally recognized relationships.

Marriage/Civil Union Assessments

The legal landscape regarding same-sex marriage has changed drastically over the past few years. When your parental or other rights are grounded in the existence of a valid marriage, this analysis targeted specifically to your situation can help you determine whether you need to take additional steps to protect your family.  For New Hampshire gay and lesbian couples who entered into marriages, civil unions and domestic partnerships in other states, we can determine if your legal relationship will be recognized in New Hampshire as a valid marriage.  If you have children, it’s especially important to understand how the laws regarding maternity/paternity interact with the laws governing your relationship status.

Cryopreserved Embryos and Sperm

Gay couples who used surrogacy to build their families may have extra cryopreserved (frozen) embryos remaining, while lesbian couples may have cryopreserved sperm. We can help couples address their rights relative to such stored genetic material, by preparing a Cryopreserved Genetic Material Agreement.  For those couples who wish to donate their extra embryos, we can assist with that process.

Wills and Other Estate Planning Documents

Because very few same-sex couples have children to whom they are both biologically related, problems can come up with inheritance. Unfortunately, some states, including New Hampshire, treat biological children differently than non-biological children when it comes to inheritance. Thus, same-sex parents must take extra care to protect their children’s financial future.  (If you are curious about how two women can be both be biologically related to one child, read about RECIPROCAL IVF).

If your partner lacks a firm legal tie to your child, we can prepare a simple will for you that nominates your partner as the legal guardian upon your death. While such nominations are not binding, they are an important factor that courts consider when making decisions for your child after death.

Prenuptial and Post-nuptial Agreements

While many couples can benefit from premarital and post-marital agreements, they are especially important for same-sex couples who still face legal uncertainties.

Cohabitation Agreements

If you choose not to get married, a cohabitation agreement can allow you and your partner to set out your mutual desires relative to your relationship.

Parental Rights

Learn more about our legal services pertaining to SAME-SEX PARENTAL RIGHTS