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Content about Family law

December 18, 2014

'For the first time in a divorce case, a judge has ruled that the state laws banning same-sex marriage and the recognition of those marriages is void and unenforceable...'

While Florida fights against marriage equality, one lesbian couple is able to have their marriage recognized so they could be divorced. At least for now.

Today, 17 December, Broward County Circuit Judge Dale Cohen granted a divorce between Heather Brassner and Megan Lade.

December 16, 2014

A Melbourne gay couple have married in their city’s United Kingdom consulate, making them the first same-sex couple in the world to be legally married under Scottish law

Scottish citizen Douglas Pretsell has become the first of his countrymen to legally marry another man as Scotland’s marriage equality law comes into effect today.

Pretsell married Australian man Peter Gloster at the British consulate in Melbourne at 11.01am today at the exact moment when Scotland’s equal marriage legislation came into effect.

The couple had already entered into a civil partnership which allowed them to take advantage of the new law today.

December 14, 2014

Figures also show that lesbian couples are more likely to get married or be in a registered relationship than gay male couples

New research conducted by the Williams InstituteNot only are same-sex couples generally as good as or better at parenting than their straight counterparts as studies have shown, a new study says they are no worse or even better at marriage.

New research conducted by the Williams Institute, at the University of California, Los Angeles, has found that same-sex couples end their marriages at a lower rate than straight couples.

December 13, 2014

In his decision, Garcia said allowing same-sex couples to marry as the case is appealed 'would only be temporary, with confusion and doubt to follow'

While a judge ruled the Texas ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, he's unwilling to lift a stay while the case faces appeal.

This past February, US District Judge Orlando Garcia found the southern's state's prohibition went against the US Constitution's protection of equal treatment under the law.

December 12, 2014

Ahead of the holiday season, county supervisors have said that adoption procedures are to be streamlined; and gay people and empty-nesters should consider taking in a child

The County of San Diego is to ease its adoption procedures, making it easier for single people and same-sex couples to adopt.

This week’s announcement came following an evaluation of the county’s current adoption procedures requested by Supervisors Greg Cox and Dave Roberts.

‘We're making an appeal to people to consider if they're empty-nesters, if they're non-traditional families, but they'd like to have adoptive children, that they consider adopting one of these really great kids that we have in San Diego county in our foster care system,’ said Cox.

December 10, 2014

Long awaited day is here

Gay English and Welsh couples can officially convert their civil partnerships into marriages from today (10 December).

More than 60,000 partnerships have been formed over the past decade, with many of them expected to be converted at register offices up and down the country.

For the next year, all couples who formed their civil partnership before 29 March 2014 (the day gay couples could legally get married in England and Wales) will receive a £45 ($70, €57) fee reduction - making it free.

December 9, 2014

First ruling was vacated on a legal technicality

Broward county judge Dale Cohen yesterday overturned Florida's ban on gay marriage for a second time after he vacated his first ruling on a legal technicality.

Cohen first ruled the ban unconstitutional on 4 August in a lawsuit filed by Heather Brassner, who entered a civil union with her now estranged partner in Vermont in 2002 but sought a divorce in Florida.

December 8, 2014

The Catholic Bishops of Northern Ireland say they can no longer support the agency now that it’s ‘legally obliged’ to allow same-sex couples to adopt

The Catholic Church has announced that it is ending its relationship with an adoption service in Northern Ireland following changes in legislation that mean the service must accept applications from unmarried and same-sex couples as potential adoptive parents.

The agency in question is The Family Care Society NI. The agency was originally founded by the Church and has offices in Belfast.

December 5, 2014

Unlike other parts of Australia, South Australia does not allow same-sex couples or single people to adopt. Its government is now seeking the public’s views on whether to change its adoption policies

In July, the South Australia Government announced that it planned to begin a public consultation and review of its adoption laws.

Currently, South Australia does not allow either same-sex couples or single people to adopt.

This is in contrast to most other parts of Australia: New South Wales, ACT, Western Australia and Tasmania all allow adoption by gay couples and LGBT individuals, as well as same-sex step-parent adoption.

December 4, 2014

He now says that he is likely to change his judgment, which would leave the women married to one another again

A judge in Athens, Ohio, approved a couple’s divorce last week… only realizing afterwards that the couple were both women.

Currently, Ohio has a ban on same-sex marriage. This ruling becomes the state’s first same-sex divorce.

November 23, 2014

The Los Angeles couple and their kids will feature on the annual show that raises awareness around fostering and adoption

CBS show Home for the Holidays is an annual TV institution that aims to highlight the fact that there are some 400,000 kids in foster care in the US who could benefit from finding adoptive families.

Now in its 16th year, the 2014 show – which will air on 19 December – will again look at several families that include adopted children. For the first time in the show’s history, a same-sex couple will head one of those families.

The couple in question are partners Rich Valenza, aged 55 and Jared Gee, 39, along with their kids, Zack and Emmary.

November 23, 2014

'People get divorced. It's a part of life. We don't want it to happen, but it happens'

As it becomes easier for LGBTI couples in the US to marry, one final hurdle remains: the freedom to divorce.

Today, 23 November, National Public Radio did a report on Lauren Beth Czekala-Chatham. In 2008, she and her then partner traveled from their Mississippi home to get married in California (when it was legal).

November 18, 2014

New cards list 'father's name' or 'mother's name' twice

Israel's Interior Ministry yesterday (17 November) started issuing new identity cards to the children of gay parents that recognize they have two fathers or mothers.

Previously, all ID cards listed 'mother's name' and 'father’s name,' even though the middle eastern country has recognized gay parents since 2006. On the new cards, 'father’s name' or 'mother’s name' appear twice.

The change comes after three families with gay parents petitioned the Population, Immigration and Border Authority.

November 18, 2014

Unless unlikely event that high court steps in, licenses to start being issued to same-sex couples on Thursday

Same-sex marriage in South Carolina came a step closer to reality on Tuesday (18 November) after the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit denied the state's motion for a stay.

Last week, a US District Court struck down the state's gay marriage ban and that set the stage for same-sex couples to begin getting married this week.

Unless the US Supreme Court intervenes, the marriages will begin at noon on Thursday (20 November).

November 13, 2014

Julie Eldredge has been cut off from the two children after break-up

A woman who lost access to the two children she had been raising with her ex-partner after a bitter split will get her day in court.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday (12 November) that Julie Eldredge is entitled to a hearing on her claim for parental rights and what is in the best interest of the children.

November 13, 2014

New South Wales follows Queensland and Tasmania

New South Wales has become the third Australian state to recognize gay couples who have married abroad in places where same-sex unions are legal.

November 3, 2014

November is National Adoption Month in the US. Both the Family Equality Council and the Human Rights Campaign have launched initiatives to help prospective LGBTI parents to realize their dreams

Are you living in the US and considering adoption? If so, you’re not alone.

According to a recent National Family Growth Survey, an estimated two million LGB adults are interested in building a family through adoption.

However, the process is not always a smooth one – or even possible – depending on where you reside.

Whereas California allows LGBT adoption, Nebraska prohibits fostering by two unrelated adults – a policy that activists say has been consistently enforced against same-sex couples.

November 1, 2014

'The Kansas Supreme Court has to be allowed to move forward'

The US state of Kansas asked a federal judge to leave its marriage equality ban alone until the state's Supreme Court makes a ruling.

Lawyers from the attorney general's office made the argument yesterday, 31 October, during a hearing with District Judge Daniel Crabtree.

October 28, 2014

Richard Perrins – a solicitor at leading specialist fertility and family law firm, Natalie Gamble Associates – explains more on the upcoming changes to England and Wales’ same-sex marriage arrangements and the provisions to convert an existing civil partnership into marriage

As of the 29 March 2014, marriage for same-sex couples in England and Wales became a reality and many have already tied the knot.

At the time the Same Sex Couples (Marriage) Bill was passed there was no immediate provision for those in a civil partnership to be able to convert this to a marriage if they chose.

October 27, 2014

The two women, who split after 16 years together, have been in a custody battle over the three children they co-parented

An appeals court in Alabama has overruled an earlier ruling that granted child visitation rights to a woman who parented three children with her former same-sex partner – deciding that the woman should never have been allowed to adopt the children in the first place.

The two women – identified only as E.L and V.L – were in a relationship together between 1995 and 2011.

Following artificial insemination treatment, E.L gave birth to a child in 2002, followed by twins in 2004.

October 25, 2014

The women's magazine received backlash from hateful readers after featuring a gay male couple alongside their two daughters, for the first time

Readers of Family Circle, an 82-year-old American women's magazine, were introduced to Chris Osner-Hackett and Bob Osner-Hackett of Michigan, alongside their daughters Cai and Ava. It's the first time the magazine has featured a gay couple talking about their family life, parenting styles, and chaotic dinnertimes in the magazine's new column, 'Modern Life.'

October 24, 2014

'Families all over Utah are celebrating having their families united'

Utah's highest court lifted a stay blocking same-sex married couples from adoption.

This means the state's Department of Health can issue birth certificates listing same-sex adults as a child's legal parents.

This past May Sean Reyes, the western state's attorney general, asked for the stay after a district judge called on state officials to explain why Utah refused to recognize the adoption of a same-sex couple.

October 16, 2014

New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania have introduced bills to repeal laws forcing married transgender people to divorce before their new gender is recognized

Three Australian states today introduced bills to scrap laws that require married transgender people to divorce before their new gender is recognized.

Legislation was introduced in New South Wales by Greens legislative council member Mehreen Faruqi and Independent legislative assembly member Alex Greenwich, in South Australia by Greens legislative council member Tammy Franks, and by Greens house of assembly member Nick McKim in Tasmania.

October 9, 2014

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin urges residents to 'uphold our statewide tradition of treating one another with dignity and respect'

Same-sex marriage is coming to the state of West Virginia sooner than anyone expected.

The state's governor and attorney general announced today that they will not longer defend challenges to the state's ban on gay marriage due to the Supreme Court's recent decision not to review the ruling overturning the ban in neighboring Virginia.

Same-sex couples are expected to be able to begin applying for marriage licenses by next Tuesday (14 October) at the latest, according to the state Department of Health and Human Resources.