Protect your rights -- protect your relationship! Now more than ever, it's important that you take the proper legal steps to define and protect your relationship in the eyes of the law. If you don't, you run the risk of being shut out of each other's lives -- and the lives of children you co-parent -- in times of medical, financial or personal crisis. This practical, plain-English guide shows lesbian and gay couples how to make practical decisions about living together, obtain domestic partner benefits, make medical decisions for each other when needed, take care of each other's finances when one partner is incapacitated, leave property to each other, have and raise children through adoption, donor insemination, surrogacy or foster parenting. The 14th edition is updated to provide the latest information on same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships in the U.S., Canada and around the world. It also includes a CD-ROM that helps you create essential legal documents.
Nolo Press legal guides provide useful and accurate information on how to manage your own affairs or, failing this, how to hire a lawyer and negotiate the court system. The rapid changes in gay and lesbian life in the past 30 years have not been reflected in the legal codes of most states, and without enforceable written agreements, gay and lesbian people may find such crucial matters as inheritance, legal guardianship, child custody, and support left to the whim of a judge or state agency. As the writers of this volume (first published in 1980) point out, "married couples' relationships are defined by law," while lesbian and gay couples have the freedom--and responsibility--to create their own legal relationships. Agreements drawn up in advance provide guidance for a time when all is not moonbeams and madness. Tear-out forms and sample documents are included. --Regina Marler