Necessity is the Parent of Invention – LGBT Couples in Louisiana

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The April 27, 2014 edition of EatPlayLive in The Advocate announced the California wedding of a same sex couple.  After a honeymoon, the couple will return to live in New Orleans. This couple undoubtedly knows that their marriage, performed elsewhere, is not recognized in this state.  Many members of the LGBT community, however, believe that eventually Louisiana will be required to recognize their marriages even if our State refuses to permit them to occur here.

In the meantime, LGBT couples have some legal tools at their disposal that enable them to govern their legal relationships in ways similar to those of couples whose marriages are recognized. Legal tools that LGBT couples in Louisiana can use include:

  1. For example, if a gay couple wishes to “adopt” a property regime that is similar to that of a community of acquets and gains, it may purchase major assets as co-owners.  If debt must be assumed in order to purchase a major asset, such as a residence, both may promise to repay it. Co-owners may enter into agreements concerning who pays what portion of the expenses associated with a co-owned asset that may help a couple work out a fair arrangement if one is a high earner and the other is not.
  2. If a gay couple is in business together, the business organization (e.g. a partnership’s articles or a corporation’s articles of incorporation and by-laws) may take into consideration that there is more going on than an arm’s length transaction.
  3. A gay couple may enter into a formal domestic partnership agreement in another state that recognizes them and use that agreement, to the extent Louisiana law permits it, to govern their relationship here.  The key is creativity as you navigate what is lawful and what violates Louisiana’s public policy against gay marriage.

If you live in Louisiana (or intend to move here) and are thinking about entering into a committed LGBT relationship, you would do well to consult with a Louisiana family lawyer and a Louisiana business lawyer before you do.