Knowledgeable And Experienced Legal Representation For LGBT Clients And Families
LGBT clients, couples and families must pay careful attention to legal planning to protect their relationships with each other and with their children. Married or not, they must make sure that a person of their choosing can make medical decisions for them if they cannot do so, that their assets will pass to the people they choose and even that they may select who will take charge of their body and make the arrangements they want at time of death. All of those things are possible, and all require legal assistance. Even marriage is not a substitute for wills and related personal planning.
Central Ohio LGBT Family Law Attorney
In my family law practice, I represent all kinds of clients and families in the greater Columbus, Ohio, area. The legal landscape facing LGBT clients is constantly changing. In my 30 years of experience, I have represented many clients who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. LGBT clients can face additional struggles in the legal system when trying to form or protect their family relationships. It is especially important that LGBT clients receive legal assistance from an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable about the particular issues that lesbian and gay clients face. My clients benefit from my assistance in family law matters. I assist my LGBT clients with shared-custody agreements, adoptions, guardianships and power of attorney documents.
As a certified specialist in family law in central Ohio, a distinction that fewer than 200 attorneys hold in the entire state, I have the knowledge and experience to establish and protect legal rights and obligations in LGBT relationships that are not otherwise provided for under Ohio law. I have helped countless LGBT couples in Ohio get the peace of mind they deserve. I have represented many LGBT spouses in solidifying both parties as equal parents through second-parent adoptions and parentage confirmation actions. I have extensive experience crafting premarital agreements (prenuptial agreements), same-sex relationship agreements and shared custody orders that withstand legal challenges and the scrutiny of Ohio courts. In addition, I have experience litigating, if necessary, to establish shared custody and to protect the relationship between children and their not-legally-recognized second parent in those unfortunate situations where the biological or adoptive parent has behaved as if he or she was sharing custody and parenting rights, only to pull back from that position when partners separate.
Same-sex couples who choose to marry should strongly consider whether they may benefit from a prenuptial contract to agree in advance how they would treat their premarital assets if their marriage ends in divorce. Many LGBT couples have had long relationships together in which they acquired property, and it is now unclear how Ohio courts will look at premarital property or the length of the marriage for purposes of property division or spousal support. It is important to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to take care of these issues in advance, while the couple is still happy and looking forward, always hoping, of course, that divorce may never occur. Most people who marry believe they will never divorce – unfortunately, they cannot rely on that hope and the lack of planning is always more complicated and costlier later. I can help with prenuptial agreements and planning.
Unmarried Same-Sex Relationship Agreements
Same-sex couples face the same challenges as traditional heterosexual couples. My primary focus is to provide LGBT families with as much protection for the relationship as possible. I help LGBT couples with:
- Partnership/relationship agreements, sometimes called partner contracts
- Child custody arrangements
- Wills, health care powers of attorney and estate planning
- Property and real estate ownership
- Artificial insemination and donor agreements
Relationship agreements are legally binding documents drafted by an attorney that allow lesbian and gay couples to define and protect their rights and obligations to each other. The agreements can be drafted to cover ownership of property and to establish enforceable arrangements for dividing property should the relationship end.
Contact An Attorney Who Knows Exactly How To Represent LGBT Families
I have extensive legal experience establishing and protecting the rights of LGBT families. For help determining how best to protect your relationship or if your relationship is coming to an end, schedule a consultation to explore your rights and consider your options. Call me at 614-221-0944 or email me using this online form, and I will respond to you in person.