Image result for lgbtqFor many, myself, my wife, and my son included, the recent election of Donald Trump as President Elect of the United States has brought uncertainty as to what the future will look like.  Donald Trump has threatened to undo crucial protections for LGBTQ people and their families in the United States, stating that he would appoint judges to the Supreme Court to turn back the legalization of same-sex marriage.  The Vice President Elect, Mike Pence, has likewise been vocal about supporting “traditional marriage” only, and desires to undo any/all protections for LGBTQ people.

What would happen if marriage equality was overturned?  Would two moms or two dads still be able to be recognized as a child’s parents, and have all of the rights and responsibilities that come along with parenthood?  In a household where one mother carried the child, and the other mother did not, should that second mother now proceed with a second-parent adoption in order to protect the family unit?  What about two gay men who used a surrogate?  What would happen to a gay couple who have been together for decades, never being married, who suddenly find themselves at the end of their relationship and in need of dividing up property that they acquired jointly?  Would this situation change if they had been legally married for any portion of their partnership?  What role, if any, will Civil Unions have in the future?  Will LGBTQ people be allowed to file joint federal income tax returns?

All of these questions are now up in the air.

While overturning marriage equality or taking other steps to undo protections for LGBTQ people and their families will take time, and there is not a need to panic immediately, the best thing to do while we wait to see what happens when Donald Trump takes office is to plan.  Start looking into second-parent adoptions.  Compose a comprehensive estate plan if you don’t already have one in place.  Name guardians for your children if something should happen to you or your partner.  Transfer title of your real estate or other property to joint ownership.  Add your partner to your bank accounts.  Have your partner add you to their bank accounts.  Obtain a health care power of attorney for your partner, and give them a health care power of attorney for you.  Plan.  In a world of uncertainty, it’s the one thing we can all do now to protect ourselves, as an LGBTQ community, from whatever may come during Donald Trump’s reign as president.

For more information on any of the planning measures mentioned above, please feel free to contact me.  As a family law attorney, I can help you to understand your options, and our firm can help guide you through this uncertain time and develop a plan.

Aubrey J. Parker, Family Law Attorney