The law in Kentucky is slowly evolving, and while it finally recognizes marriages between same-sex couples, not all couples choose marriage. There are steps that can be taken to ensure a couple’s rights are protected. Contracts and/or Agreements can be drafted to protect each party’s rights as if their relationship was recognized under the same state law that recognizes heterosexual couples. It is important to protect the rights of each partner in the case of separation, illness, or death. One way to protect a couple’s rights is through estate planning and the drafting of wills, powers of attorney, and living wills to protect both partners’ wishes in the case of catastrophic illness or death.
Another area where legal planning is critical is when a couple decides to start a family. Contracts can be drafted to ensure that if something happens down the road, there are established rights for parenting time, custody, and financial support. Without such a contract, the Courts often recognize only the biological parent, potentially leaving the other parent without any parental rights.