After you’ve chosen  a couple of firms that you want to contact to represent your family draft up protections for your “New Family”, there are some very important questions you should ask to make sure this is the direction you want to go.

According to Lambda Legal,http://www.lambdalegal.org, these are some of the questions you should ask:

  1. How many years have you been in practice?
  2. Do you have any experience in cases regarding gay and lesbian domestic issues?
  3. Do you have any personal doubts about the equality of gays or lesbians?
  4. How do you feel about expert witnesses or issues regarding gay and lesbian domestic issues?
  5.  Who will be doing most of the work on my case – you or an assistant?  What experience does your assistant have with this type of case?  Will you consult with another lawyer?  Can I meet with the other people?
  6. How will we stay in touch as the case and/or paperwork proceeds?  When can you be reached?
  7. Will you consult with me and my partner before making major decisions?
  8. What will we be required to do in the course of pursuing our case?
  9. What information about me and my partner may be at issue if I pursue this case? (E.g., will I have my deposition taken; undergo medical or other evaluations, will my employment/personal history disclosed?)
  10. How long will all of this take?  Will you prepare an estimated timetable?

According to Lambda Legal,http://www.lambdalegal.org, these are some of the questions you should ask regarding Attorneys’ Fees and Costs:

  1. Is there an initial consultation fee?
  2. Do you require a retainer?
  3. How do you bill for your services?  Do you charge an hourly rate?
  4. Do you accept contingency fee arrangements?
  5. What other costs may be involved?
  6. Will you bill periodically as the case progresses?  Will you supply itemized bills?
  7. What do you estimate will be my total attorneys’ fees and costs?

These are just some suggestions to ask prospective attorney when you go to your meeting.  Better to be prepared so that you can make the best decision. 

Please remember, laws vary state by state.  What may be legal in California may be illegal in Florida, thus requiring less legal paperwork.  So laws in California automatically protect the other partner if you are already registered as domestic partners.  In Florida, we have no such protections, and must go a step further in the legal system to protect our “New Family”. 

So do your research, look up case law for yourself and just be involved in every step of the process no matter how small or how large. Refer back to http://twomommys.com/the-perfect-sperm-bank/important-fact-for-picking-donor/legalities-of-using-donor-sperm/  , Legalities of Using a Sperm donor to help you make an informed decision when you start out the process of starting your family.  Make sure you choose the right process to protect yourselves from a prospective father showing up, later on in life, wanting to claim parental rights and responsibilities.


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