Legal Affairs: Essential Advice for Same-Sex Couples

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9780805052244: Legal Affairs: Essential Advice for Same-Sex Couples
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A groundbreaking book for gay and lesbian couples.

In this country, same-sex marriages have yet to become legalized even though increasing numbers of lesbian and gay couples are forming and maintaining long-term relationships. In a friendly and informal tone, Legal Affairs presents critical concerns facing individuals whose partnership is not protected by the laws of marriage. It covers the social, legal, psychological, and financial aspects of forming or dissolving same-sex partnerships as it encourages couples to design for themselves a balanced and equitable union that will survive the good and bad times.

A unique blend of practical advice, wise counsel, and social history, it features a comprehensive discussion of a variety of legal and financial arrangements that lead to securing and "legally" binding a relationship. It reviews the commitment process; the details of making written agreements; and taxation and the "extended" family. It also offers concrete advice concerning the ending of a union that may involve children, real estate, and personal property. Sensitively recognizing the personal and political dynamics involved in same-sex partnerships, this wonderfully comprehensive guide is sure to become a must-have for gays and lesbians.

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Almost 30 years ago, the gay liberation movement opened up a brave new world that offered startling new freedoms and ways of looking at life. But the lives of gay men and lesbians were still bound by the network of laws and judicial rulings--some harsh and oppressive, others quite useful--that are the bulwark of our legal system. The gay movement has spent much of its energy dismantling laws that discriminate against homosexuals or criminalize sexual activity, but there is another expanse of legal territory--family law--that remains confusing and often uncharted. Frederick Hertz's Legal Affairs: Essential Advice for Same-Sex Couples provides a navigational map to the most dangerous places of this complicated territory. Covering everything from legal partnership contracts (in the absence of gay marriage) to the potential legal horrors and financial nightmares of a breakup, Hertz elucidates which existing laws can help gay couples and which can harm or hinder them. From joint bank accounts, home ownership, insurance, children (adopted and biological) and pets to separation contracts, child support, wills, and death benefits, Hertz presents clearly written, psychologically nuanced, and step-by-step instructions for all stages of gay and lesbian coupledom. --Michael Bronski

About the Author:

Frederick Hertz, an attorney practicing in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a recognized expert in the emerging field of gay-family law. He has appeared on Oprah and has written for the New York Times.

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Hertz, Frederick
Published by An Owl Book (Henry Holt and Company), New York, New York, U.S.A. (1998)
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