The question of which attorney to choose is a very personal one. You want someone who will offer a warm, welcoming environment and who understands the unique legal and societal challenges that transgender family law matters often entail. You want someone who has been on the forefront of LGBTQ family law rights and will be there for you. We would be honored to represent you.
On August 11, 2017, psychologist and collaborative facilitator Jeremy Gaies joined collaborative attorney and mediator Adam B. Cordover to present on the topic of “LGBTQ Relationships: The New Family and Out-of-Court Dispute Resolution.” Gaies and Cordover facilitated the LGBTQ families workshop at the 25th Annual Conference of Florida’s Dispute Resolution Center.
Purpose of LGBTQ Families Workshop
The purpose of the workshop was threefold:
- Identify specific legal and other considerations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals and families;
- Engage in discussion of various out-of-court options to meet LGBTQ needs; and
- Consider new and future legal challenges for LGBTQ clients and the family law community.
Do you want your legal identity to match who you are? At Family Diplomacy, we have been a cutting edge law firm serving the needs of LGBT clients. We can help you apply for a change of your legal name and gender marker to sync with your gender identity. In sum, we can help you with a trans name change.
Though Florida is often behind the times, with name changes the state is pretty liberal. So long as your civil rights are not suspended, and you are not seeking a change of name for an illegal or ulterior purpose, your petition of change of name can be granted by a circuit court judge.
Tampa Bay Times Columnist Sue Carlton writes in the September 26, 2016 edition of the newspaper about a growing trend in Florida Family Law Courts: Petitions for Change of Legal Name by transgender individuals.
In Florida, courts grant requests for changes of name relatively freely. So long as a person has not been convicted of a felony (or, if they have been convicted of a felony, then they must have had their civil rights restored), and that the person is not seeking the name change for an illegal or ulterior purpose (such as to avoid a debt or lawsuit), the court will generally grant your request for a name change.
However, you must take the required steps for a name change, including properly filing a petition, going through a background check by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Federal Bureau of Investigation, and appearing before a judge for questioning.
The fact that a person is changing a name from one that is associated with one gender to a name that is associated with a different gender should not make a difference.
Parts of the Tampa Bay Times article, A new frontier for Florida courts: Transgender name changes, can be found after the jump:
Florida has not had the best history when it comes to the rights of same-sex couples. For the longest time, the state had a law on the books that gay men and women were forbidden from adopting a child. Florida not only enacted a so-called Defense of Marriage Act statute but enshrined its opposition to same-sex marriage in the state’s constitution. Further, even once Florida courts ruled that the state must recognize marriage between people of the same sex, it was unclear whether the state would permit same-sex divorce.
Fortunately, the state has come a long way. The “gay adoption ban” is no longer on the books. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a ban on the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples is unconstitutional, as is a refusal of one state to recognize a same-sex marriage solemnized in another state. And it has become clear that circuit courts in Tampa Bay and around the state must give same-sex spouses the opportunity to dissolve their marriage.
So, at this point, can two parents of the same sex appear on a Florida birth certificate?
The April 2016 edition of Florida Trend Magazine featured Family Diplomacy managing attorney Adam B. Cordover in an article on Collaborative Divorce. The article, titled “Avoiding a Fracas with Collaborative Divorce” (subscription required), described benefits and drawbacks of collaborative practice for executives and business owners.
You can find excerpts from the article below:
Last July, five years after launching his practice, divorce attorney Adam Cordover decided he was finished going to court. “I’d spent most of my career fighting in court for clients and had seen the devastating effects. I’d seen clients literally go crazy,” says Cordover. “I decided I no longer wanted to be part of it.”
He converted his firm to a litigation-free practice focused on what’s known as collaborative law. In a collaborative divorce, a couple agrees to settle their differences outside the courtroom through negotiations.
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a state must give full faith and credit to a judgment granting a second parent adoption issued by a court of competent jurisdiction of another state.
A second parent adoption is similar to a stepparent adoption, where one spouse adopts the other spouse’s child, except that the petitioner in a second parent adoption is not married to the child’s legal parent. Second parent adoptions were most closely associated with same-sex partners as, until recently, same-sex marriages were not permitted or recognized in Florida and around the country.
In the case, V.L. v. E.L., 577 U.S. ___ (2016), two women, E.L. and V.L. were in a relationship from 1995 until 2011. About seven years into the relationship, E.L. became pregnant via assisted reproductive technology and gave birth to a child (and a couple of years later, to twins). The women raised the children as co-parents.
Recently, I came across a very complicated divorce matter where two women had been battling in the court system for six years, even before the State of Florida recognized their marriage. One of the women ended up firing her aggressive trial attorney and hiring me because I offered an alternative: collaborative divorce. Once everyone agreed to stop fighting, we were able to reach an agreement within just a few months’ time.
That client, Pattie, recently wrote a touching review about my paralegal, Jennifer, and I at avvo.com. You can find the review below.
As I am required to note by the Florida Bar, please understand that every case is different, and you may not receive the same or similar results.
The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover & Staff are amazing, professional caring people. Please know that I don’t mean for this review to be long or boring, my intent is to shed hope & shine light into your present life from my past experience and situation.
My situation was very complicated from the start being a same sex marriage which for years was not recognized in the State of Florida until January 2015 and two properties involved.
The Tampa Tribune recently reported that the Union for Reform Judaism (“URJ”) passed a resolution in support of transgender rights. The resolution of the URJ, representing approximately 1.5 million American Jews, is the most wide-reaching indication of support for transgender equality.
The resolution did not mandate changes to Reform synagogues or require them to spend money on changes, though it did set suggested protocols on welcoming transgender and non-gender-conforming individuals.
As LGBT rights have gained acceptance in Florida and throughout the U.S., it has become more common to learn about a spouse in an opposite-sex marriage – sometimes a long-term marriage – come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. There is a term for marriage where one spouse is straight and the other spouse is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender: Mixed Orientation Marriages. The term can also be applied to same-sex marriages where one of the spouses is bisexual or gender fluid.
Transcending Boundaries, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides education, activism, and support for persons whose sexuality, gender, sex, or relationship styles do not fit within conventional categories, has published a brochure that discusses and provides resources for those spouses in Mixed Orientation Marriages.
The brochures says the following about Mixed Orientation Marriages: