As an out member of the LGBT community, lawyer Christine Klein has unique insight into the legal needs of people who come to her for counsel regarding family law and other legal matters. She has been practicing law in the New York area for more than 25 years and has a personal understanding of the struggles that members of the community face. She understands your family and your needs.
The Law Offices of Christine J. Klein, P.C., handles issues that affect the LGBT community, including:
Adoption and reproductive law: We help you make your dreams of beginning a family a reality. Whether you are looking to adopt a child or conceive one through donor sperm, eggs and/or surrogacy, our law office can help you navigate the legal challenges. Should you use a known donor or an anonymous donor? What rights does a non-biological parent have if you haven't completed a second-parent adoption? Our firm handles second-parent and stepparent adoptions, private placement, foster care and agency adoptions. We can help you complete your family.
Estate planning: Careful estate planning in the LGBT community is especially important because the law does not yet automatically protect your loved ones. Preparing a will, trust, health care proxy, living will or power of attorney will give your loved ones peace of mind. Our law office understands nontraditional family structures and will take extra care to be certain that the people you love are provided for when you are gone.
Family law: We work to help our LGBT clients resolve legal matters related to domestic partnership agreements, civil unions, family contracts, divorce, child custody, child support and division of debts and assets. We can also assist you if you would like to legally change your name or gender on your birth certificate.
Divorce and dissolution of civil unions: Along with the legalization of same-sex marriage and civil unions, sometimes comes gay divorce. Christine Klein has a particular sensitivity to the issues facing gay and lesbian couples who now find themselves in the divorce process. We can help you deal with issues like equitable distribution, child custody and support.
Prenuptial, Postnuptial and cohabitation agreements: LGBT couples are often established in their careers and lives before they choose to marry or partner permanently. You likely have savings, investments, pensions, a 401(k) and even a house. Understand the law and know your rights, which may change if you relocate. We can help protect you and your partner by reaching an agreement when you are both in love and want to be fair to each other.White Plains Second-Parent Adoption Attorney
Christine Klein is a strong advocate of second-parent and stepparent adoptions to protect your family. All too often, our law firm answers fearful questions from parents facing a breakup who never adopted a child conceived and raised with a partner.
A second-parent adoption ensures that your family is equal to any other family out there. It gives the non-biological parent all the rights and responsibilities of any other parent. If the couple breaks up, custody and child support issues will be determined by the same rules that apply to all parents. If one partner dies, the other parent will retain custody of the child(ren). As part of the adoption process, the donor or surrogate signs his or her consent and surrenders any legal rights.
Many couples wonder if they still need a stepparent adoption if they are legally married. The answer is YES. The child may have been conceived before the marriage took place. Other states, the military and the federal government may not recognize your status as a parent even if you are on the birth certificate. But if you have an order of adoption, that has to be given full faith and credit by every state in the U.S.
Our office has helped many LGBT families protect their children by completing both second-parent and stepparent adoptions. Christine Klein will walk you through the process, prepare and submit the necessary documentation and be at your side in court.
For more detailed information on second-parent adoptions, see this article written by Christine Klein.Call Westchester County LGBT Law Attorney
For members of the LGBT community, unfamiliarity with the legal system and the highly personal nature of these cases can make contacting an attorney difficult. We take the time to make sure you know your legal options and understand the impact of each decision.
From our office in Hawthorne, we represent clients throughout New York and Northern New Jersey, including New York City, Nyack, New City, White Plains and other parts of Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange, Bergen and Passaic counties.
To schedule an appointment with an experienced attorney, contact us by filling out the form on this website or call (914) 449-6749.