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The Ohio LGBT community’s new right to marry also means the right to step-parent adoption

GAY ADOPTION LAWYER, COLUMBUS LESBIAN ADOPTION LAWYER, COLUMBUS LGBT ADOPTION LAWYERVirginia Cornwell is an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist Attorney who works with the LGBT community.

Many LGBT Ohioans will be celebrating the recent U.S. Supreme Court Decision Obergefell, et al. v. Hodges, Director, Ohio Department of Health, et al. and racing to the courthouse to get their marriage license and say “I do.”

However, the marriage of two partners may not change their family dynamic as completely as they hoped it would.  If the partners are co-parenting children together, assuming one of the parents is a biological parent, then after the marriage ceremony the children have a new step-parent.  Step-parent may not be the dynamic that the parties have in mind.  They may want something more permanent, like step-parent adoption.

Step-parent adoption is not right for everyone.  It will terminate the parental rights of the biological parent that is not part of the marriage.  That may be undesirable for some.  There are certain circumstances where the parental rights of the person who is not part of the marriage can be terminated against their will.  To learn whether step-parent adoption is right for your family, call the Law Offices of Virginia C. Cornwell to schedule a consultation.

CALL NOW  at (614) 225-9316

GAY ADOPTION LAWYER, SAME SEX ADOPTION LAWYERS IN COLUMBUS OHIO, GAY FAMILY LAWYER,  LGBT FAMILY ATTORNEYS IN, A FAMILY LAWYER, FAMILY LAW LAWYERS, FAMILY LAWYERS, OHIO DIVORCE LAWYER, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS, attorney ohio family law, columbus attorneys, columbus lawyers, columbus lawyer, columbus attorney, ohio divorce attorney, lawyer in columbus ohio, lawyer columbus ohio, columbus ohio lawyer, columbus ohio attorneys, attorney at law ohio, divorce lawyer columbus, divorce attorney columbus, ohio divorce lawyers, ohio divorce lawyer, ohio divorce attorney, ohio LGBT divorce attorneys, columbus LGBT divorce attorneyDo you want to talk to an attorney about a step parent adoption?  Our attorneys are here to help you!  It all starts with a phone call.

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Ohio LGBT Shared Custody Agreements: Get it in Writing!

GAY CUSTODY LAWYER, SHARED CUSTODY AGREEMENT, CO-CUSTODY AGREEMENT, LAWYER, ATTORNEY, LGBT LAWYER, COLUMBUS OHIO LGBT LAWYER, COLUMBUS OHIO LGBT ATTORNEY, LGBT CUSTODY LAWYER, LGBT ADOPTION LAWYER, GAY ADOPTION LAWYERVirginia Cornwell is an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist Attorney who works with the LGBT community. 

Many Ohio LGBT partners co-parent but do not take the extra step of putting their shared custody (similar to joint custody or shared parenting) arrangement in writing.  Others put their shared custody arrangement in writing, (known as Bonfield agreements) but do not put it in writing in a way that indicates a clear relinquishment of sole custody in favor of shared custody (for example a power of attorney or a will rather than a shared custody agreement).

Mistakes like this can be tragic for the non-biological parent (or non-legal parent) if the couple breaks up.  Wills and powers of attorneys are revocable.  Shared custody agreements (the ones that have any legal authority) must be approved by the juvenile court.  An example of how things can go devastatingly wrong without a shared custody agreement is the Mullen case.

In the Ohio Supreme Court Case In Re Mullen, 129 Ohio St.3d 417, 2011-Ohio-3361, while together, the parties had taken numerous steps to show their commitment to co-parenting.  They had planned the pregnancy together, were together at the birth, made a ceremonial birth certificate with both parties’ names, and shared parenting responsibilities. The biological mother also prepared a will naming the other mother as custodian if she should pass away, and the biological mother gave her partner a power of attorney.  However, when the parties separated, according to Mullen, the will and the power of attorney were revoked and the parties found themselves in litigation over whether they would continue to co-parent the child.

In this case, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the findings of the lower courts which did not require the biological mother to continue to co-parent with her former partner.  The Court noted that while the biological mother had the opportunity to permanently surrender her sole custody in favor of shared custody, she did not do it. The court did not go so far as to say that they would always require a “Bonfield” agreement, but if the court did not grant any custodial rights under these circumstances, it is wise to interpret this case as a cautionary tale and put these important issues in writing, and have them approved by the juvenile court.

CALL NOW  at (614) 225-9316

GAY DIVORCE LAWYER, SAME SEX DIVORCE LAWYERS IN COLUMBUS OHIO, GAY FAMILY LAWYER,  LGBT FAMILY ATTORNEYS IN, A FAMILY LAWYER, FAMILY LAW LAWYERS, FAMILY LAWYERS, OHIO DIVORCE LAWYER, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS, attorney ohio family law, columbus attorneys, columbus lawyers, columbus lawyer, columbus attorney, ohio divorce attorney, lawyer in columbus ohio, lawyer columbus ohio, columbus ohio lawyer, columbus ohio attorneys, attorney at law ohio, divorce lawyer columbus, divorce attorney columbus, ohio divorce lawyers, ohio divorce lawyer, ohio divorce attorney, ohio LGBT divorce attorneys, columbus LGBT divorce attorneyDo you want to talk to an attorney about a shared custody agreement?  Our attorneys are here to help you!  It all starts with a phone call.

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Columbus Ohio Same Sex Divorce Lawyer & Prenuptial Agreement Lawyer

COLUMBUS LGBT DIVORCE LAWYER, COLUMBUS GAY DIVORCE LAWYER, COLUMBUS SAME SEX DIVORCE LAWYER, SAME SEX DIVORCE LAWYER, LGBT DIVORCE ATTORNEY, SAME SEX DIVORCE ATTORNEY, GAY DIVORCE ATTORNEY, GAY DIVORCE LAWYERThe Law Offices of Virginia C. Cornwell is very excited about the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision which prohibits state bans on same sex marriage!  We are here to help our Ohio LGBT clients obtain a divorce or dissolution of their marriage as quickly and painlessly as possible.  For couples who are able to agree on terms the parties may be able to have a dissolution with a private judge and avoid going to court all together.

In cases of dissolution, the proceedings can be very fast, as little as 30 days after their court papers are filed, the parties can have a hearing in our office with a private judge, avoid the court house altogether, and move on with their lives.

In cases where divorce is necessary, our experienced divorce attorneys are here to help our LGBT / same sex clients obtain the divorce they need.

For Ohio LGBT clients who have been waiting to marry, but wish to preserve their assets in case of divorce, we are here to help you with a prenuptial agreement.

CALL NOW  at (614) 225-9316

GAY DIVORCE LAWYER, SAME SEX DIVORCE LAWYERS IN COLUMBUS OHIO, GAY FAMILY LAWYER,  LGBT FAMILY ATTORNEYS IN, A FAMILY LAWYER, FAMILY LAW LAWYERS, FAMILY LAWYERS, OHIO DIVORCE LAWYER, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS, attorney ohio family law, columbus attorneys, columbus lawyers, columbus lawyer, columbus attorney, ohio divorce attorney, lawyer in columbus ohio, lawyer columbus ohio, columbus ohio lawyer, columbus ohio attorneys, attorney at law ohio, divorce lawyer columbus, divorce attorney columbus, ohio divorce lawyers, ohio divorce lawyer, ohio divorce attorney, ohio LGBT divorce attorneys, columbus LGBT divorce attorneyDo you want to talk to an attorney about ending your same sex, gay, LGBT marriage (divorce)?  Our attorneys are here to help you!  It all starts with a phone call.

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Same Sex Divorce in Ohio: U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Bans on Same Sex Marriage

COLUMBUS OHIO LGBT LAWYER, COLUMBUS OHIO SAME SEX DIVORCE LAWYER, COLUMBUS GAY DIVORCE LAWYERVirginia Cornwell is an OSBA Certified Family Relations specialist who can assist in obtaining a same sex marriage divorce in Ohio.

In a 5-4 decision announced on Friday, June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that same sex marriage is a constitutional right, and that states may not ban same sex marriage. In Obergefell, et al. v. Hodges, Director, Ohio Department of Health, et al. , the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that

  • The Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex, and
  • States must recognize a marriage of the same sex when the marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state

What does this mean to Ohioans?  Legally, it means that same sex couples are now be able to both marry and divorce in Ohio.

However, the decision does go on to say: “Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.”  What does this mean to Ohioans who want to have a same sex marriage ceremony?  It means that they do not have the right to have their ceremony in a church who does not accept same sex marriage.

The decision anticipates some of the “push back” that may come from states who have anti-same sex marriage laws on the books still, such as Ohio, and deals with the possibility in short measure by stating:

“The Fourteenth Amendment requires States to recognize same- sex marriages validly performed out of State. Since same-sex couples may now exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States, there is no lawful basis for a State to refuse to recognize a lawful same-sex marriage performed in another State on the ground of its same-sex character.”

CALL NOW  at (614) 225-9316

GAY DIVORCE LAWYER, SAME SEX DIVORCE LAWYERS IN COLUMBUS OHIO, GAY FAMILY LAWYER,  LGBT FAMILY ATTORNEYS IN, A FAMILY LAWYER, FAMILY LAW LAWYERS, FAMILY LAWYERS, OHIO DIVORCE LAWYER, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS, attorney ohio family law, columbus attorneys, columbus lawyers, columbus lawyer, columbus attorney, ohio divorce attorney, lawyer in columbus ohio, lawyer columbus ohio, columbus ohio lawyer, columbus ohio attorneys, attorney at law ohio, divorce lawyer columbus, divorce attorney columbus, ohio divorce lawyers, ohio divorce lawyer, ohio divorce attorney, ohio LGBT divorce attorneys, columbus LGBT divorce attorneyWant to talk to an attorney about ending your same sex, gay, LGBT marriage (divorce).  Our attorneys are here to help you!  It starts with a phone call.

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Supreme Court of the United States to Hear Issue of Gay Marriage on April 28, 2015

GAY DIVORCE OHIO, GAY DISSOLUTION OHIOTomorrow, in cases consolidated as Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding two very important issues relating to gay marriage:

  1. Whether bans on gay marriage are constitutional; and
  2. If the bans are constitutional, whether those states with bans may refuse to recognize out-of-state gay marriages performed where they are legal.

This decision is the pivotal case for gay marriage, and for gay divorce.  Previously, cases regarding gay marriage decided collateral issues, such as whether a legally married spouse may claim the estate tax exemption, such as in United States v. Windsor.  Although United States v. Windsor found the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional, it did not go far enough to require states to repeal bans on gay marriage or to force them to recognize legitimate marriages from other states.

Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky are defending their bans against gay marriage before the Supreme Court.  A decision in the case is expected by the end of June, 2015.

CALL NOW  at (614) 225-9316

DIVORCE LAWYER, DIVORCE LAWYERS IN COLUMBUS OHIO, FAMILY LAWYER,  FAMILY ATTORNEYS IN, A FAMILY LAWYER, FAMILY LAW LAWYERS, FAMILY LAWYERS, OHIO DIVORCE LAWYER, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS, attorney ohio family law, columbus attorneys, columbus lawyers, columbus lawyer, columbus attorney, ohio divorce attorney, lawyer in columbus ohio, lawyer columbus ohio, columbus ohio lawyer, columbus ohio attorneys, attorney at law ohio, divorce lawyer columbus, divorce attorney columbus, ohio divorce lawyers, ohio divorce lawyer, ohio divorce attorney, ohio divorce attorneys, columbus divorce attorneyWant your questions answered by a live person (either in person or by telephone)?  We would be happy to schedule a consultation with you.

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