Non-Traditional Families / Partnership Issues

Partnership Agreements | Civil Unions and Dissolutions

A Family Law Attorney for Non-Traditional Families

Despite the passage of civil union/gay marriage legislation in New Hampshire and same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, gay and lesbian couples are not fully protected under the law. You need an experienced GLBT lawyer to draft the documents to safeguard your legal interests and will represent you in legal disputes with a partner or outside party.

Salem Legal Services, LLC offers capable and compassionate legal counsel for individuals and couples in non-traditional relationships, whether formalized or not. Based in Salem, we practice in the surrounding counties in New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Call (603) 509-9428 to arrange an appointment.

Salem Legal Services is a Justice of the Peace, and available to perform civil union ceremonies in most states.

Civil Unions and Partnership Agreements

Individuals joined in civil unions or gay marriages are treated as spouses under state law regarding inheritance rights, hospital visitation and other matters. However, partners are not entitled to federal benefits and protections such as joint tax returns, Social Security benefits or immigration status for non-citizen partners.

Whether you are cohabitating or have a legally recognized union, a partnership agreement offers additional protections and simplifies matters in the event of death, illness or end of the relationship. Salem Legal Services, LLC drafts thorough and legally sound:

  • Property agreements that clarify which assets are separately owned and which are jointly purchased and owned
  • Estate planning documents establishing inheritance, powers of attorney, health care proxies and guardianship over a partner or children
  • Household agreements that allow for different ways to set up households, including accounts and finances
  • Adoption/guardianship documents for same-sex parents

Dissolutions and Other Litigation

Civil Unions and Gay Marriage are relatively new in New Hampshire and Massachusetts . Also, recognition of civil unions and gay marriage in New Hampshire allows for the opportunity to dissolve civil unions entered into in other states. Many contested issues have not yet been fully resolved by the courts. Salem Legal Services has practiced in family law and related GLBT issues since 1991. She conducts seminars on legal matters affecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, and has been an active advocate for gay marriage and second parent adoption.

We, at Salem Legal Services, are talented negotiators who strive for an out-of-court settlement, but attorney Daniele Darlene is also a proven trial lawyer who can protect your interests in court:

  • Dissolution of a civil union or marriage, including division of property, child custody, child support and alimony.
  • Family member assertions of legal rights to child custody or property against our gay and lesbian clients in the event of a partner's death, or challenges to guardianship or medical intervention in the event of incapacity.

Contact our Salem office at (603) 509-9428 to arrange a consultation with a knowledgeable civil union and GLBT lawyer.

Salem Legal Services, LLC represents individuals of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, including (NH) Salem, Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Derry, Laconia, Exeter, and Rockingham, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Strafford, Belknap and Grafton counties; (MA) the Merrimack Valley and North Shore communities of Haverhill, Lowell, Worcester, Boston and Middlesex, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Worcester counties