Articles Posted in Gay Marriage

images.jpgIn a stunning announcement the Obama Administration just announced that it will no longer enforce a federal law barring gay marriage.

In Florida, a constitutional amendment which bans same-sex marriages passed with 61% of the vote. Florida has adopted DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) as state law. DOMA, which was signed into law by President Clinton in 1996, effectively denies access to marriage-based federal benefits by same-sex couples.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to take a California case challenging that state’s defense of marriage initiative. If the Court rules that the California law violates the equal protection clause, then all bets are off.

Jacksonville gay marriage proponents waiting for the oral arguments over California’s Proposition 8. Over the summer, a district judge held the ban on gay marriage unconstitutional and since August 16th the law has been on hold. Read more about the California panel of judges that will be hearing oral arguments in this case.

As Florida does not recognize same-sex marriages, Jacksonville gay and lesbian families would do well to consult with a Florida Gay and Lesbian Family Law Attorney who can provide information about the various legal documents that create marriage like agreements. Whether they are called domestic partnership agreements, living together contracts or something else, these documents reflect the intentions that you and your partner have towards issues such as title of real and personal property, property owned before the relationship began and property either or both of you accumulate during the relationship.

Agreements which memorialize Jacksonville gay and lesbian relationships are contracts. Traditional contract considerations such as intent, capacity to enter into a contract as well as other considerations must be met. As these contracts create enforceable legal rights, it is best to discuss what you want to achieve, and obtain advice from a Jacksonville gay and lesbian friendly law firm for important issues to consider, and clauses to include in any written legal document.

Jacksonville Gay and Lesbian Family Lawyer.jpgIf you live in or around Jacksonville Florida, are gay or lesbian, have children, and share parenting responsibilities, it is important to have a Gay or Lesbian Shared Parenting Agreement. Having a written legal document which expresses your intentions and wishes as to raising your child is imperative.

Being a Gay or Lesbian parent in Jacksonville is no longer based on a man-woman, husband-wife model. Courts continue to wrestle with the concept of non-legal parents seeking custody and visitation with children, following divorce, separation, or termination of a relationship. A written agreement which describes both the legal as well as non-legal parent’s role to the child, and outlines custody, visitation and other issues, will give both parents the opportunity to be heard in mediation or court, should a break-up occur.

There is an emerging body of case law addressing custody and visitation rights of the non-legal parent. Keeping in mind the best interest of the child standard, it may be in your families best interest to consult with a Jacksonville Gay and Lesbian Rights Attorney to discuss how a Shared Parenting Agreement can help you.

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