Scottsdale, AZ (PRWEB) May 1, 2006
Nirenstein Ruotolo Group, P.L. C., one of Arizonas most prestigious family law firms, has found that more women are taking necessary steps to protect themselves, their children and their assets in case of divorce.
According to the National Vital Statistics Report issued by the Centers for Disease Control on March 31, 2006, over 18,660 Arizona marriages ended in divorce between January and September 2005, up slightly from previous years. As divorce rates continue to increase, women are becoming more actively involved in educating themselves about divorce and child and spousal support.
Women are more aware of protecting their rights during a divorce, said Alexander D. Nirenstein, NRGs managing member. Our job is to make sure our clients are educated and receive positive results in their cases.
NRG has consistently reached out to assist women in understanding their rights in a divorce. Fred Ruotolo, a founding partner of NRG, participated in the 2006 Arizona Familys Womens Expo. Ruotolo spoke to attending women about a range of topics related to family law and child custody.
The women in attendance at the Womens Expo inquired about an assortment of topics such as child custody, spousal support and property division, said Ruotolo. We were able to provide these women with empowering information, helping them make better decisions for their future and the future of their children.
NRG also hosts Arizonas source for blogging Web site information on family law. Arizona Family Law Blog is the definitive site for up-to-date information on cases that affect family law and divorce, interesting legal news from around the nation and in-depth answers to important family law questions. Visitors to http://www.azfamilylawblog.com can reply to any of the posted topics with questions or comments and receive responses from the lawyers at NRG.
About Nirenstein Ruotolo Group P.L.C.
Founded in 2003 by accomplished family law attorneys, NRG is a boutique family law firm that provides professional representation in Arizona divorce and family law litigation, mediation, appellate review and mental health and elder law services. NRG boasts nine experienced family law attorneys, two litigation analysts, four paralegals, and five support personnel. The firm represents many diverse clients, both in Arizona and nationally, and is one of the most-respected law firms in Arizona practicing divorce and family law exclusively. For additional information, please visit http://www.nrglaw.net.
For more information, contact:
Beth Glick (Crosby-Wright P.R.)(480) 367-1112
New York, NY (PRWEB) June 7, 2006
Life started out so great. It felt as though you were locked inside a great big bubble of happiness. You got married to the love of your life and proceeded to have three children. You are young. You were young. Your husband or wife has been taking care of all the bills. Three or four years go by and things are slowing changing. Your husband or wife is not home as much to help you with your household chores or with caravaning the children to their in sundry appointments and birthday parties. You feel isolated and alone. Suddenly you start to see things unraveling. You become unhappy, you start to feel unworthy. You worry because you have no idea what is happening to your life, a life which was once the envy of your single friends.
You wonder… is this the way things are supposed to turn out? Then the arguing begins, sometimes involving verbal abuse or even physical abuse. Sometimes, you just feel isolated and neglected. You have no one to talk to about your changing life. You have asked, but your spouse refuses to see a marital counselor or counsel from your church or synagogue. You can not turn to family, as they are still reminding you of how wonderful your spouse has been, what a wonderful provider he or she is. And then the day comes when your husband or wife tells you that they no longer love you or that they want a divorce or separation.
In New York State, the NYS divorce attorney hears a version of the above fact scenario day in and day out. The above stated fact scenario is more common than you might think. Yet each individual has their own set of circumstances, their own priorities, their own way of looking at things, and things are just not that simple.
You may turn to friends and family and everyone has a different view point on what to do. Stay? Go?
You turn to a therapist to sort out your feelings and invariably you come to terms with the fact that things are going to have to change. Change is a scary thing to confront. The ugly word starts being bantered about. Divorce. Now what.
The first thing you should do is start finding out how to protect the best interests of yourself and your children. If you or your children are being ill treated or abused there are places you can go and things that you can do immediately to stop the abuse.
Call 911. Call child protective services, there is a department in each and every county in New York State. Go to Family Court and get an Order of Protection. Call your family lawyer. Or seek immediate custody of the subject children. At all costs, protect the children from harms way.
And then start worrying about what you must do to begin preparing for divorce. Call a New York City divorce lawyer. If you are in nyc and seek a top nyc divorce lawyer then search the internet and call a few attorneys and find one you are comfortable with. If you are in a smaller town or county you can call your local Bar Association for a referral. But by all means get help. Do not stay in a situation of domestic violence. The NY Family Court has a wonderful history of providing a respite for those in fear of their lives.
And if you feel you just can not go it alone, do not be afraid to seek out professional help from a New York State lawyer. The more experienced ones will know just what to do to protect your legal rights in an efficient way and make you feel comfortable at the same time. Your secrets are safe with a ny divorce lawyer. If the above sounds familiar do not hesitate to act now. Hire a nyc divorce lawyer now.
If you are safe and out of harm’s way, then seek a New York Divorce Lawyer. If you are in New York City, then here is a partial list of some shelters you can go to until you have a chance to see a reputable New York Divorce lawyer or New York Family Law Lawyer.
NYC Women’s Shelter Intakes
Franklin, 1122 Franklin Avenue, Bronx
Jamaica Armory, 93-03 168th St., Jamaica, Queens
Brooklyn Women’s Shelter, 116 Williams Ave., Brooklyn
Resources Equinox Domestic Violence Services
95 Central Avenue
Albany, NY 12206
45 Carlton Street
Buffalo, New York 14203
P.0. Box 451 Ellicott Station
Buffalo, New York 14205
Nassau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence
250 Fulton Ave. Mezz. West
Hempstead, NY 11550
The Salvation Army of the Syracuse Area
677 South Salina Street
Syracuse, NY 13202
P. O. Box 365
Syracuse, NY 14309
(315) 468-3260 – 24-hour Crisis
and Support Line
Women In Need
115 West 31st Street
New York, NY 10001
Yonkers MHA (YWCA)
87 South Broadway
Yonkers, NY 10701
National Domestic Violence Hotline for referrals and support: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY: 1-800-787-3224.
New York 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-942-6906 (English) or 1-800-942-6908 (Spanish).
By: Lisa Beth Older
web page: http://www.lawofficesoflisabetholder.com
Warning: The information contained herein is not intended to substitute for legal advice from your own retained lawyer in new york state. this article is merely informational in nature, and is based upon one attorney’s knowledge of the practice of family law, matrimonial law, domestic violence, custody, child support and orders of protection.
Retain counsel before you do anything to affect your marital status and follow the advice of the lawyer you retain, not what is written herein.
New York, New York (PRWEB) October 18, 2006
Americans point to divorce as the biggest challenge to stable family life today, outpacing other factors (1) such as same-sex or dual-career couples, according to a new survey, The Changing Shape of the American Family. Conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Martindale-Hubbells lawyers.com from LexisNexis and Redbook magazine, the survey is featured in the November issue of Redbook.
Nearly nine in ten (88%) of U.S. adults say divorce has a negative impact on maintaining a stable American family life. In comparison, 53 percent feel that way about same-sex couples, and 50 percent say dual-career households negatively impact families. Virtually all U.S. adults (99 percent) acknowledge that families have changed over the past generation, and 70 percent say those changes have been for the worse.
Clearly, many Americans are anxious about the forces that threaten family. They’re struggling to understand all this change and what it means for their own personal choices, but they also feel a lot of compassion toward other families that make different choices–or don’t have a lot of choices, said Stacy Morrison, editor-in-chief of Redbook.
Family Law Confuses Majority of Americans
The unease that many U.S. adults feel about non-traditional family arrangements could be compounded by their lack of familiarity with legal concerns that affect families. The survey shows that 85 percent say they are somewhat or not at all knowledgeable about basic family law issues.
Nontraditional families are evolving faster than laws can keep up. Many people now need to take special care to ensure that their family, particularly if its not a traditional nuclear arrangement, is protected financially and legally, said Alan Kopit, legal editor of lawyers.com, the most comprehensive and trustworthy online resource for finding lawyers.
Among the documents Kopit recommends adults consider are wills, prenuptial agreements, co-habitation agreements and powers of attorney.
If you are a grandparent caring for grandkids, or if youre the primary caregiver to minor step-children, you likely have different legal rights and responsibilities than those raising kids in nuclear families, said Kopit. Its important to seek out legal information and counsel to ensure your family is protected.
Todays Typical American Family
The following data from the survey reveals the make-up of American families:
–One-half of all U.S. adults are currently living with a spouse or opposite-sex partner;
–Thirty-six percent of those married or living with a partner currently live with their biological children;
–Nearly one in five (19%) U.S. adults with at least one child in the household also have one non-immediate family member living there (such as an aunt, uncle or grandparent);
–Parental ties are strong: nearly half (45%) of single, never-married U.S. adults live with at least one biological parent; and
–Some Americans go solo: nearly one-in-five (17%) of all adult Americans live alone.
For more information about the survey, visit lawyers.com.
Survey Sample and Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of lawyers.com from LexisNexis and Redbook magazine, between August 16 and 23, 2006 among 1,092 U.S. adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, race/ethnicity, education, household income, and region were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents propensity to be online.
With a pure probability sample of 1,092, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of + / -4 percentage points. Sampling error for sub samples would be higher and would vary. However, that does not take other sources of error into account. This survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
Martindale-Hubbells lawyers.com(SM) (http://www.lawyers.com) from LexisNexis is the leading lawyer directory on the Web, providing consumers and small businesses access to a free database of more than 440,000 attorneys and law firms nationwide. Lawyers.com helps site visitors make a fast, informed decision when choosing a lawyer. More than one million searches per month are conducted at lawyers.com by consumers and business people in search of the right lawyer for their needs.
Fresno, California (PRWEB) December 5, 2007
Fresno divorce lawyer, Erin Rhames-Childs says that the court of law is no place for families. The cold courtroom hallways are best for those with contract disputes and criminal charges. Divorce courts are overworked and understaffed forcing judges into making quick decisions that are not always right. Collaborative divorce is a cheaper, quicker option for couples to maintain control over their destiny and protect their families from hasty decisions.
“Families don’t belong in the court of law,” says Erin Rhames-Childs, a Fresno County Collaborative Lawyer. With divorce at the highest rates in years, local divorce courts are inundated with too many litigants, and too little time to handle them.
For many, the cold hallways of a courthouse are traumatizing and some court orders for custody, visitation or property division are devastating for years after.
Through traditional divorce litigation, disputes over child custody and child visitation, parties are forced to hand over their most precious possessions – their children – to a stranger in a black robe will order when and how they will be raised, when and how each party will see them and how much money they will have to do all of this. “I would never want that for myself and I don’t want it for my clients,” says Erin Rhames-Childs, a family law attorney who practices Collaborative Law in the Central Valley.
“Court is no place for families – it’s a place for contract disputes and criminal proceedings.”
The average divorce costs anywhere from five to tens of thousand of dollars and can take anywhere from six months to years to end. All the while, your family and financial security is in limbo. The California Community Property Laws are good at making division of assets “easy” but don’t necessary give people what the need.
“The judges are hard-working, well-intentioned public servants, but are very limited with what they can do. They have very little time to really listen to your needs and make the best decision that is in the best interests of your children or your finances.”
Attorney Childs practices Collaborative Divorce which is a rapidly growing alternative to the traditional divorce litigation. “Collaborative Law is an innovative approach to restructuring your family during divorce which focuses on the needs of your family and allows you both to be in charge of the decisions affecting the rest of your lives. All of this is done while keeping your personal and financial dignity intact.”
One of the primary goals of Collaborative Law is to preserve couples’ dignity, and respect. Honesty and the free sharing of information are expected and repeatedly encouraged. The idea is to preserve relationships for after the divorce when everything is said and done. In traditional divorce, the attorneys are paid gladiators – there to win at all costs, which usually ends with serious financial and emotional massacre.
The most salient feature of Collaborative Divorce is that both parties must commit in writing to not take their case to court and committing to finding resolutions that best serve their needs through a series of four-way meetings with their collaboratively trained attorneys.
Collaborative practice is often cheaper, faster and results in the parties preserving a functional relationship which will allow them to continue raising their children as divorced parents. “There is a lot less blood shed and the children are spared the trauma of the front row seat to it all.”
Erin Rhames-Childs is a Fresno divorce litigation attorney who provides services for divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, adoptions, guardianships, grandparent rights, domestic partnerships, and domestic violence restraining orders. Childs & Childs is proud to work throughout the Central Valley including cities like Fresno, Madera, Clovis, Kingsburg, Reedley, Selma, Tulare, Hanford, Visalia, Merced, Modesto and Coalinga.
Erin Rhames-Childs, Partner
Childs & Childs, PLC
Fresno, CA (PRWEB) February 5, 2008
Family law litigator and founding partner of Childs & Childs, PLC, Erin Childs, will be giving a short presentation on Collaborative Divorce during the February 12th Fresno Women’s Network monthly luncheon. Erin invites you to attend so that you can gain useful information for yourself, your friends, family or anyone who needs those services for that matter.
Where and When:
Where: Love and Garlic at 5351 N. Diana Court
Fresno, CA 93710
When: February 12, 2008 at 11:30 a.m.
at the Fresno Women’s Network monthly luncheon
If you would like to attend, but are not a member of the Fresno Women’s Network, contact Anna VanderPoel of our office and we can arrange to have you admitted.
What is Collaborative Divorce? Collaborative Divorce is an innovative approach where a couple agrees in writing to dissolve their marriage with respect, dignity and honesty. These divorces often resolve more quickly than traditional divorce litigation and for a fraction of the cost. Couples also benefit from the use of trained professionals such as attorneys, financial and child specialists and therapists to reach the best settlement that meets the needs of all involved.
Besides the time and financial benefit of collaborative divorce, the primary benefit is that participants avoid the trauma, character assassination and humiliation that take place during most traditionally-litigated divorces. The collaborative process seeks to preserve relationships. This is done with the idea that most divorces involve children and couples must co-parent for many years after a divorce is done.
This method of divorce was started by a family law litigator, Stu Webb, about a decade ago. Mr. Webb was tired of seeing how families were destroyed and resources depleted after “scorched earth” litigation. Back then, divorcing couples only had two options, doing it themselves or do it through litigation, which inevitably led to years of fighting, court appearances, stress, trauma and financial devastation.
Since then, collaborative divorce has spread like wildfire and more and more, couples are choosing collaborative divorce. These couples are spending a fraction of the money they normally would on a traditional litigation as well as a fraction of the time. They are saving time and money, but most importantly, through the help of trained professionals and divorce coaches, they are preserving relationships for the years after a divorce enabling them to effectively co-parent. They are also protecting their children from the bloodbath that is family litigation while having the protection, and advice of their own attorney.
It is estimated that internationally over 20,000 professionals have received training in collaborative divorce. Erin states, “This is definitely not a flash in the pan type of divorce. It is here to stay and hopefully grow and grow. Locally, we are training ourselves every chance we get and have been trained by one of the best, Pauline Tesler, a leader in the international collaborative movement. We are very excited about this, and want to see less emotional destruction and more peace. Hopefully, this can help many people in our local area and internationally.”
If you are anticipating a divorce, or if you know someone who is, please let him or her know this is a new option in the Central Valley and invite that person to attend the February 12th luncheon. This is an alternative that many couples would choose if they knew it was an option. We just need your help to get the word out!
If you are unable to attend the meeting and would like more information or would like to speak to an attorney who can help you, contact Childs & Childs at your earliest convenience. We would be more than happy to sit down and discuss your options with you.
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Fort Lauderdale, FL (PRWEB) November 17, 2009
Gerald Adams and Associates is the first Fort Lauderdale family law firm dedicated to fighting for Mens Rights in the civil court room. This firm provides all services related to family law including divorce, parenting plans and time-sharing (custody rights), spousal support, asset distribution, paternity, child support, domestic violence and even post- trial- litigation.
Gerald Adams and Associates is determined to break through the politically correct barriers where society and prehistoric family courts have stereotypically favored mothers and wives in domestic violence and family law proceedings. The firms business manager, Ila Bennett explained, Most clients dont even know to look for a mens rights attorney in South Florida, they simply search for a Fort Lauderdale Divorce Attorney for men or family law firm in Fort Lauderdale. Taboo social issues such as spousal support for the stay- at – home dad and cases where the husband has been emotionally and even physically abused, is societys dirty little secret.
Gerald Adams utilizes his website, http://www.AdamsLaw4Men.com as a vehicle to educate the public about relevant social issues and recent law changes impacting husbands and fathers rights in the state of Florida. AdamsLaw4Men.com offers potential clients a discreet place to research and inquire about how a person can improve their personal legal situation. Ila Bennett commented, One interesting trend that we have noticed is that the preliminary contact made with our law firm is often initiated by a woman on behalf of her current husband, boyfriend or male friend whom she feels is being exploited.
The law firms founder and Mens Rights advocate, Gerald Adams, responded, Most men dont realize they can step forward and renegotiate the terms of their parenting plan, holiday visitation rights, or child support and alimony payments after the original court order has been established. If you feel that your current situation is unfair or that you may be heading toward divorce or paternity proceedings, you should not hesitate to educate yourself and be proactive in establishing and defending your rights by contacting a family law attorney. Advance preparation is imperative for obtaining the best results in family law proceedings. Dont get caught back on your heels.
As a divorcee himself, Gerald Adams utilizes his vast knowledge of mens rights and family law, as well as his own personal experiences, to advise his clients. Gerald divorced with two small children in the 1970s and moved to Washington State to be closer to his ex-wife, her husband and their two children, where he obtained a law degree in Spokane, Washington, at Gonzaga Law School.
While Gerald initially began practicing general law, he noticed a trend of male clients who were denied their basic legal rights as parents, and soon after developed a passion advocating for a familys best interests, where both parents have the opportunity to play an integral role in their childrens lives.
For more information about a Family Law Attorney in Broward County or Mens Rights Attorney in Florida call 954-353-5035 for your free phone consultation or visit http://www.AdamsLaw4Men.com
About Gerald Adams and Associates
Gerald Adams and Associates is a Broward County Family Law Firm that specializes in divorce, paternity, parenting plans and time-sharing (custody rights), child support, spousal support, distribution of marital property, domestic violence and post-judgment-litigation. The firm has offices throughout the state of Florida.
Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) November 24, 2009
Divorce Talk Radio, a production of North Carolina family law firm, Rosen Law Firm, discusses when it is an option to do a divorce yourself in, “How Easy Is a Do it Yourself Divorce?” Every week, Divorce Talk Radio features current topics in family law and answers listener questions regarding family law issues in North Carolina.
In this episode, Raleigh divorce lawyer Lee Rosen and Cary divorce lawyer Ketan Soni share tips for representing yourself in court during a divorce and what steps you can take to protect yourself when handling the paperwork and legal forms on your own. The team also discusses Rosen Law Firm’s new “Do it Yourself Divorce” website and the ways the new service can be beneficial to someone facing a divorce.
“Is it realistic that you can do it and do it well? We’re talking about a lot of people where you’d better do it and do it well, because you don’t have an alternative.” says attorney Lee Rosen.
About Divorce Talk Radio
Divorce Talk Radio is a free, professional resource available to everyone in the state of North Carolina. Hosted live every Wednesday at 11 a.m. Eastern time, Divorce talk Radio offers listeners the chance to call in and ask questions about any aspect of family law and get answers from a Raleigh divorce lawyer.
Divorce Talk Radio covers a range of topics that may arise in a family law dispute. Recent episodes include; “How Does Child Custody Impact Homeschooling?”, “Confronting your Wife’s Boyfriend”, “Who Gets the Kids?” and “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
About Rosen Law Firm
With offices in Raleigh, Charlotte and Chapel Hill, Rosen Law Firm is one of the largest divorce firms on the East Coast. Founded in 1990, the firm is dedicated to providing individual growth and support to couples seeking divorce by helping them move forward with their lives. Our staff of attorneys, financial professionals and specially trained divorce coaches expertly addresses the complex issues of ending a marriage. Our innovative approach acknowledges that divorce is so much more than just a legal matter. Practice areas include child custody, alimony, property distribution, separation agreements and domestic violence relief.
For More information on Rosen Law Firm and Divorce Talk Radio, or for an interview, please contact Ned Daze at Rosen Law Firm.
Ned Daze, Director of Public Relations
Rosen Law Firm
Glendale, CA (PRWEB) June 17, 2010
Al and Tipper Gore have been through a lot together. She was there when he moved into the White House as second-in-charge and when he won the Nobel Peace Prize. She was also there at his senior prom. After spending what many would call a lifetime together, the couple shocked the world by calling it quits after forty years of marriage, and they arent the only couple splitting so late in the game. Here to discuss divorce after a longstanding marriage and what spouses can do to protect themselves is Family Attorney at Law and Legal Mentor, Demetria Graves, who is based out of Los Angeles, California.
Divorce after a short marriage is not uncommon, and the proceedings for them tend to be well-known, at least on some basic level, by the general public. However, filing for divorce after a marriage of twenty, thirty, or forty years can be rather complex. Demetria Graves, a Family Law Attorney based out of Los Angeles, explains, After a marriage of such a long duration, there are not only entangled feelings, but entangled assets, debts, and belongings as well. Sifting through everything a couple has accumulated and shared over a lifetime can be, simply put, an arduous process.
Furthermore, Spousal Support requirements can make the process an expensive one if awarded, which it often is. According to Family Law Attorney Demetria Graves, In California, if you have been married for less than ten years, Spousal Support generally lasts for half of the duration of the marriage. She goes on to state that this is not the case for marriages in California that last longer than ten years, which are generally awarded long duration Spousal Support. Graves explains, Long duration support is issued indefinitely unless both parties agree to a specific end date. So, if we assume that Al Gore earns more than his wife does, a California court would require he pay her Spousal Support for the foreseeable future. That could get pretty expensive for Al Gore, who was on track to become the worlds first carbon billionaire, according to John Broder of the New York Times.
The Gore divorce case carries a high emotional price tag as well. Even though Al and Tipper Gores children are all adults and are in their late twenties and thirties and thus are no longer dependents, there is still concern regardless of their age, says Attorney Demetria Graves. Graves states that emotional bonds are hard to break and that this is especially evident in long-term marriages or when children have seen their parents get along for so long.
When asked about what the Gores or any spouses can do to protect themselves in long term marriages, Attorney at Law, Demetria Graves, suggested reviewing their history. Be clear on what you own. Did either party have debt or assets before the marriage? If so, is there proof to support it? Looks like the Gores will be in for the long haul, in terms of court dates that is.
Demetria L. Graves, Esq. is a family law attorney who opened her own firm to provide clients with the exceptional personal service and legal mentoring that is not always available at a larger firm. Demetria Graves is an outstanding attorney, with memberships in the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Beverly Hills Bar Association, and the Pasadena Bar Association. She has also been a Professor of Family Law at West Law College in Los Angeles. In addition, Demetria Graves is an active member of the Step Up Womens Network, a nonprofit targeting the development of business skills in women and underprivileged teens.
Ms. Graves, Esq., handles all aspects of California family law, including divorce, child custody, child support, modifications, paternity, visitation rights, guardianship and related legal issues. The Law Offices of Demetria L. Graves represents clients throughout Los Angeles County, including Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena, L.A., West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Arcadia, Alhambra and communities throughout the Los Angeles metro area.
New York, NY (PRWEB) July 12, 2010
New York City divorce, custody and appellate lawyer Lisa Beth Older, Esq. appeared on Fox Five News on July 9, 2010 to provide legal analysis for a television segment on the latest Court ruling on Gay Marriage, commenting on the Federal Ban against gay marriage and the Judge who called the ban unconstitutional.
On July 8, 2010 the United States District Court Judge Joseph Tauro, appointed to the Court by Richard Nixon, struck down DOMA, or the Defense of Marriage Act, as unconstitutional as applied to Massachusetts. ( Mass.v. US Dept of Health, et al., Civil Action No. 1:09-11156-JLT). DOMA was struck down because the law failed to provide equal protection of the law for gay and lesbian couples and because it impinged upon a States’ right to define marriage, stripped the States of the right to legislate under the 10th amendment to the constitution, and disallowed the State from equally distributing federal funds amongst its citizenship, thus invoking invidious discrimination against its citizens.
The Federal Ban against gay marriage codified as the “Defense of Marriage Act” or referred to as “DOMA”, was enacted by the Clinton Administration in 1996.
The act of the Federal District Court in striking down DOMA lends strong support to gay and lesbian couples in their legitimate quest to have equal rights, and to also have equal access to New York Courts for the purpose of seeking relief as to their children in disputes involving custody visitation, child support and divorce rights attendant to same sex marriages performed in alternate States.
“Under the current law known as DOMA, the federal government does not recognize same sex unions” says New York City divorce lawyer Lisa Beth Older, Esq. “DOMA narrowly defines marriage, and derivative parentage rights, as a union between a man and a woman.” DOMA states that parties to a same sex unions shall not be allowed to take advantage of federal benefits and protections given to and enjoyed by heterosexual couples. Examples of the kind of benefits prohibited to gay and lesbian couples are the benefits derived from any Federal program, such as being allowed to sign of joint tax returns, being allowed to receive health insurance benefits, having federal burial rights for surviving spouses of a deceased gay and lesbian service man or service woman, and other such federal benefits stemming from federal employment. While DOMA does not expressly preclude States from passing their own laws affirming gay and lesbian marriage, DOMA does expressly allow a State to not recognize a same sex marriages performed in alternate State that has in fact legalized gay and lesbian marriage. The legitimacy of DOMA affects all gay and lesbian couples in Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, along with the District of Columbia.
The lawsuit against the legitimacy of DOMA was filed by the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defense group, and a second companion case was filed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the Federal District Court.
The Obama Administration is likely to appeal the law to the United States Circuit even though he campaigned for president in favor of repealing DOMA. Obama will need to make a tough decision soon.
Proponents of the law say that the Justice Department is bound to enforce and defend laws of the land.
Presently there are five States that recognize gay and lesbian marriage, those being New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Iowa , as well as the District of Columbia. This ruling will likely have gay and lesbian couples rallying for similar law suits against DOMA in their respective States.
Thus, if Obama decides to appeal the ruling to the United States Circuit Court, and if the higher Court agrees with Judge Tauro’s ruling then, and if the Justice Department appeals that holding as well the case will likely go all the way to the United States Supreme Court. If DOMA is found unconstitutional. there, then DOMA will no longer be the law of the land. If the opposite result appertains, and DOMA withstands the legal challenge, then DOMA still prevails and the ban against gay and lesbian marriage will be stronger than ever. This is a frightening prospect for gay and lesbian couples across the board who deserve equal protection under the law.
Gay and lesbian Marriage has been recognized in Massachusetts since 2004. Now that a Federal Judge has struck down DOMA, gay and lesbian spouses or couples of same sex unions will now be allowed to apply for federal benefits, this only after the automatic fifteen (15) day automatic Stay lapses and absent any newer stays by the Circuit Court. This ruling will open the flood gates for legal action by gay and lesbian citizens of States that have legalized same sex marriage.
Lisa Beth Older, Esq. opines that the Federal ruling will also likely affect gay and lesbian custody rights. Where there is marriage, there is divorce. As such, it will be interesting to see what effect if any the ruling of the Federal Court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act will have on New York Family Court cases.
The Federal Court ruling will have an impact on gay and lesbian disputes in New York. “The New York Court of Appeals is charged with dealing with problems of law stemming from paternity, child support, custody and divorce” says New York appellate and divorce lawyer Lisa Beth Older. At present, New York does not recognize gay and lesbian marriage and divorce and in many instances limits standing of gay couples to sue in family court. However, in a recent series of cases coming down from the New York Court of Appeal in May 2010 the New York’s highest Court has begun to seriously grabble with the problem of how to deal with children of gay and lesbian marriages or gay and lesbian unions in custody and support cases.
Prior to May 4, 2010, if a child of a New York same sex couple was conceived through artificial insemination, and if the subject child of that union was not adopted by both gay and lesbian parents in New York, then the non-adoptive, non- biological parent had no standing to sue for custody and visitation, and the biological parent had no responsibility to provide child support for the child. Now, the law as to child support and gay couples has changed dramatically. As of May 4, 2010 the Court of Appeals, in the Matter of H.M. v. E.T held that a same sex partner may sue a non-biological partner for child support, regardless of the lack of adoption or biological ties. This holding broke new ground for Gay and lesbian rights by expanding the notion of parentage beyond the borders of heterosexual couples with an emphasis on the child’s attachments and on the “best interest of the children.” There, the Court of Appeals recognized the right of a gay and lesbian woman to sue for child support in Family Court as against a same sex parent. This ruling has large consequences as it gives the State Courts power to define who is a parent for purposes of child support.
As to the rights of gay and lesbian couples to sue for custody, the New York Court of Appeals is not as liberal. The holding in the Matter of Alison D. v. Virginia M. (77 N.Y.2d 651, 1991) stated that New York parenthood requires that there be a biological or adoptive relationship between parent and child before custody may be asserted. However, the Court of Appeals in May 2010 diverted from this position, at least in part. While reviewing a New York lower court holding on a visitation case involving a same sex marriage of Vermont, the case of Debra H. v. Janice R (Court of Appeals May 4, 2010, NY slip opinion 0375), the Court held that New York must now recognize Debra H.’s parental status under the law of Vermont.
Lisa Beth Older states that “the case of Debra R. is just start. More must be done by the legislature and the Courts in interpreting these laws of access to Family Court through the prism of the United Stated Constitution.” Holding on to the last vestiges of Matter of Allison, supra, the Court held that while New York still does not recognize a gay and lesbian parent’s right to sue for custody of their child absent an adoptive or biological relationship to the child, if the child is born of a legally recognized same sex marriage in another State where same sex marriage is legal, that parent may indeed sue for custody. This may be a step in the right direction.
Accordingly Judge Taro’s federal ruling banning the Federal government from legislating unequally between gay and lesbian and heterosexual couples, by giving rights to heterosexuals without giving equal rights to gay and lesbian couples bears on New York State’s power to overrule and strike down any State law that unconstitutionally fails to provide equal access to the Courts, equality, due process of law, and justice to all of its citizens. The Federal holding will serve as a platform to empower New York State Courts to start providing all couples, gay and lesbian alike, equal access and standing to utilize the Courts for purposes of suing for custody, visitation and child support. This ruling would allow brave Courts throughout this country to challenge State laws that discriminate against one set of parents while allowing other parents to have access to the court system to secure their rights of access to gay and lesbian parents.
The Federal District Court holding, while only relevant to Massachusetts, supports the notion that State and Federal governments may not pass and enforcing laws that discriminate against some of its citizens, while providing government benefits to other groups of citizens. By way of deduction, this holding would support the fact that both Federal as well as State governments should not pass and enforce laws that deny equal access to the Courts. Under the Constitutional provisions of equal protection of the law, all citizens, whether they be gay, lesbian or heterosexual must be afforded equal and identical benefits of due process of law through access to our State Courts for the purpose of disputing custody and visitation claims. Derivatively all children would benefit from a proactive Court whose aim is to protect innocent children, whether they be the product of gay or heterosexual couples.
Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) November 9, 2010
Separating Together, Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of five participating attorneys in its Collaborative Law Practice Group in Raleigh, North Carolina. Since 2003, the independent member attorneys of Separating Together have been providing an array of respectful divorce services focused on North Carolina’s Collaborative Law alternative for families in the Raleigh – Durham metropolitan area.
The Collaborative Practice Group now consists of the following Raleigh divorce attorneys: Mark A. Springfield, Jeffrey M. Seigle, Martha J. Mason, Adrian J. Davis, Kerry Burleigh, Aida Doss Havel, James W. Hart, Deborah Throm, and Randolph (Tr