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Answers to Common Questions Regarding Same-Sex Marriage, Divorce, Custody, and Estate Planning in Nebraska

Answers to Common Questions Regarding Same-Sex Marriage, Divorce, Custody, and Estate Planning in Nebraska

Koenig|Dunne is proud to have served the LGBTQIA community for many years, including partnerships with the ACLU, the Nebraska ACLU, and Lambda Legal Defense Fund, to protect and preserve the rights of the LGBTQIA community.

Last weekend, our team was happy to show our support for the LGBTQIA community here in Omaha at the 2022 Heartland Pride Parade. During our conversations with members of the community during the event, we heard similar questions being asked of our legal team. Below is a summary of the common questions we were asked and our brief answers. 

1. What does the Dobbs decision mean for LGBTQIA families?

While there was no immediate impact to LGBTQIA families, we don’t know what the future holds when it comes to what courts and elected officials might do, especially after being emboldened by Dobbs and the concurring opinion by Justice Thomas.  If you have questions or concerns, contact an attorney to discuss your rights and options.

2. If I am married to my same-sex spouse and a child is born of our marriage, do we still need to complete a stepparent adoption?

The answer to this question is fact specific and depends on the legal and biological relationships between the spouses and the child.  Make sure you discuss your rights and options with an attorney.  However, given the current political climate and legal uncertainties in the future, the ACLU of Nebraska still recommends seeking a stepparent adoption in many cases to ensure your legal rights are protected.

3. Does being a same-sex couple in any way hurt or change my chances for my custody case with the judge?

Assuming both parents are the legal parents of the child and entitled to establish custody, the paramount concern when determining custody is what is in the minor child’s best interests.  To learn more about the “best-interest” standard for custody determinations, click here.  à

4. Do I have to be married to my partner to make them my power of attorney?

No, you do not have to be married to your same-sex partner to make them your attorney-in-fact/agent in your Health Care Power of Attorney or your Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney.

5. If I am married, I do not need a will because my spouse will inherit everything.

This is not necessarily true, and it is a common misconception. What your spouse will inherit if you die without a will depends on whether you have living parents or descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.).

If you have a question regarding your legal rights or options regarding same-sex marriage, divorce, custody, or estate planning, please contact our office to schedule an initial consultation to learn your rights and options.

Angela Lennon