Your Advocates In LGBT Family Law

In 2014, the US Supreme Court issued rulings that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. This was a huge step forward for LGBT equality. But because VA legislators did not amend state laws to be more inclusive of same-sex families or to strengthen protections for LGBT rights, same-sex couples face unique challenges and questions when it comes to divorce, child custody and other family law matters.

The lawyers at DeFazio Bal understand these issues, and we are proud to be a legal resource for Virginia's LGBT community. Attorney Jace M. Padden is registered with Equality Virginia, which demonstrates our readiness to help same-sex couples navigate the difficulties of:

Parental Rights For Lesbian Mothers Who Didn't Give Birth

It is common for lesbian couples to conceive using a sperm donor — sometimes through a clinic and sometimes by asking a male friend. There is usually no question of parentage for the partner who carries and delivers the child. She has parental rights automatically.

The nonbirth mother is a different story, however. Unless she legally adopts the child, she may not be recognized as a parent and may not have the same parental rights. This can become a major issue if the couple gets divorced and a child custody dispute arises.

Officially adopting the child may also prevent a rarer but nonetheless difficult problem. A divorce between lesbian parents sometimes prompts the sperm donor to assert parental rights — especially in cases where there was no formal agreement at the beginning. Adoption terminates the rights of the other biological parent, which could prevent a legal challenge later on.

Even if you didn't adopt your child near the time of birth, you still have legal options, and we are ready to help you assert your parental rights.

Contact Us To Discuss Your Legal Needs

DeFazio Bal has offices in Midlothian and Glen Allen, and we serve clients throughout Central Virginia. To schedule your initial consultation with one of our skilled attorneys, call us at 804-419-6551 or fill out our online contact form.