Addressing Same-Sex Marriage Issues
The Oregon Family Fairness Act went into effect in 2008 and provides that same-sex couples in Oregon may enter into a registered domestic partnership. This affords them the same rights and responsibilities under state law as if they were an opposite-sex married couple. Any place in Oregon law that gives a right to opposite-sex spouses gives the same right to same-sex registered domestic partners. These rights include:
- Hospital visitation rights and medical decision-making
- Dissolution provisions similar to legal divorce
- Automatic parentage of nonbiological parents for children born after the domestic partnership is registered
- Treatment in Oregon as spouses for tax purposes (Oregon taxes only)
Oregon currently only recognizes marriage between one man and one woman due to a 2004 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Under current federal law, same-sex couples are not entitled to the same rights as opposite-sex married couples, including the right to federally recognized marriage.
If you or a loved one is working through same-sex family law issues, it is important to protect your rights and interests by working with a skilled lawyer.
Divorce, Estate Planning And More
We are prepared to bring our comprehensive knowledge of same-sex family law issues to help you ideally address family law issues.
If you are in an Oregon registered domestic partnership, the dissolution of your registered domestic partnership will be treated the same as a divorce of an opposite-sex couple. If you are in a same-sex relationship that’s dissolving, you may have some legal rights in a dissolution of domestic partnership action. This is a legal remedy that is available to unmarried same-sex and opposite-sex partners. We can provide you with quality and experienced representation in both of these areas.
If you’re a member of a same-sex couple, we cannot grant you the same level of protection or legal rights as a married couple, but we can provide you as many layers of legal protection as possible. We recommend that same-sex couples who seek estate plans have the following documents:
- Advance directives
- Durable power of attorney
- Disposition of remains designation