Regardless of what your family portrait looks like, protecting yourself and those you love is vital. If you are looking to start a family and need advice regarding surrogacy, adoption, or insemination, our firm will help you protect your rights and interests.
Among our focus areas is helping LGBT families finalize their adoptions. In 2010, the law changed, finally allowing gay people to adopt in the State of Florida. We're proud to have contributed to the legal effort to make that possible, and since that time we have completed hundreds of adoptions for gay families. Whether you are welcoming a new child into the family or becoming the second legal parent of your partner's child, the law provides the kind of protection and permanence that gay families have always deserved.
Many people believe that only the wealthy need wills, but unless a will is in place, inheritance laws might interfere with your final wishes. Similarly, you need to prepare for disability or another medical emergency. By preparing a will and other estate planning documents, you can assure that your wishes are respected, your intended decision-makers can care for you in the event of a medical emergency, and also help simplify the probate process for those you leave behind. When it comes time to probate an estate, our firm's years of experience will help make the process affordable and efficient so that more of your assets can pass to your intended beneficiaries without unneccessary delay.
A same-sex couple’s marriage might not be recognized if they move to a new state, or the marriage might end with unintended consequences. A well-crafted prenuptial or postnuptial agreement will ensure that the understandings between you and your spouse are respected no matter what.
When relationships come to an end, the issues are thorny and it helps to have a zealous advocate who is committed to achieving your goals with as little acrimony as possible. Whether you are dissolving a marriage or a long-term same-sex relationship, emotional and financial costs are minimized by resolving the issues outside of the courtroom. Our firm's focus on Collaborative Family Law will give you the counsel and support you need as you begin a new chapter of your life.
When life presents challenging conflicts, the parties involved often have many issues to untangle. If faced with one of life's twists and turns, heated emotions often impede resolution. It's important that you receive sound legal advice from compassionate, capable counsel to assure that disputes are resolved in as healthy and fair a manner as possible.
Family mediation is a dispute-resolution process which involves the use of a neutral third party to help bring about solutions cooperatively. Mediation involves compromise on each party's behalf. Even when there exist feelings of resentment, anger and fear, it is possible for a mediator to help negotiate an agreement that addresses the concerns of all family members. Elizabeth has a very high rate of success resolving disputes through this process.
Mediation has several benefits: Agreements are reached more quickly that through litigation, and a quicker resolution is usually more affordable for all. Everything from correspondence to what is said in mediation is treated as confidential and can generally not be used in court. And since the solutions come from the involved parties rather than a judge or other third party, the solutions are as unique and flexible as our families themselves.
Please note that mediation is not a substitute for legal advice, as Elizabeth does not serve as the advocate for either party or provide legal information. It is still advisable to consult with a lawyer before and during the mediation process. We also advise those who come to mediation without counsel to have a lawyer review any written agreement before it is signed.