The 2015 Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage is a promising sign that puts LGBT couples and families on equal footing with their straight counterparts. However, legal questions resulting from the interpretation and ramifications of this ruling will arise for years to come. Gay and lesbian couples in Florida still face tangible barriers and discriminatory practices that undermine their goals, security and dignity while violating their constitutionally guaranteed rights.
Brandon Family Law Center, LLC, provides comprehensive legal counsel and representation to the LGBT community in the Tampa Bay area. We work to help clients solve problems, plan for the future and exercise the full complement of equal rights guaranteed to them under the law.
A Resource For Same-Sex Couples And Their Families
Gay and lesbian couples now enjoy legal recognition of the legitimacy of their relationships, including domestic partnerships and same-sex marriages that were previously unrecognized under Florida law. However, the legal troubles of LGBT citizens are far from over.
LGBT Floridians face many of the same legal issues that arise in any family law context, including:
- Creating families through adoption or a surrogate
- Having access and time-sharing with their children
- Using advance directives
- Serving as legal guardians
- Drafting wills and living wills that will be honored
- Having access to a partner's medical records through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- Having the same estate planning options
- Qualifying for Medicaid and other benefits
- Transferring property titles and deeds
- Planning for business succession
- Renting or owning property as a couple
- Establishing processes and protections for dissolution of relationships
Addressing Problems Of Equity And Access
Although the law has changed, it is sure to take more time for people and institutions to accept the change. You may still find yourself fighting to protect your constitutionally guaranteed rights. These are issues of simple fairness, but resolving these matters often requires creative solutions through a hybrid of family law, estate law, civil contract law and civil rights advocacy.
Our lawyers can knowledgeably address the unique legal matters that gay and lesbian parents encounter, from second-parent adoption and same-sex surrogacy arrangements to disputes over child custody, property and financial support. When possible, we employ the collaborative process for dispute resolution, with a goal to building bridges between parents rather than tearing families apart.
Beyond family law for same-sex couples, we advocate for LGBT clients in a wide range of matters such as transgender rights, health care laws, patient rights, discrimination in employment and housing, and parental rights.
You Deserve The Same Rights, Remedies And Respect
Brandon Family Law Center can help you anticipate conflicts and proactively assert your rights. Even if you and your partner are in excellent financial and physical health, a sudden change of events may jeopardize everything you've worked hard to build.
For LGBT law and counseling in the Tampa Bay area, contact attorney Mary L. Greenwood at 813-438-7119 or (toll free) 800-769-0129, or contact us online.