Beginning with the passage of marriage equality legislation by the D.C. Council in 2010 and by the Civil Marriage Protection Act in Maryland in 2012 after a ballot referendum approved this measure, members of the LGBTQ+ community in the District of Columbia and Maryland began getting married in larger numbers. The Supreme Court’s opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 of course made marriage equality the law of the land in all 50 states. For the first time in our nation’s history, LGBTQ+ families were treated like all other families in all aspects of family law, regardless of where they were married.
Of course, even prior to marriage equality, LGBTQ+ families have been forming families for decades, including through informal and formal domestic partnerships and by having children through adoption or through artificial reproductive technology. Their life circumstances can present many unique fact patterns that require an attorney who can recognize and address their legal implications with an empathetic ear, including advocating for clients who may harbor fear and anxiety about how they may be treated in court (the good news is, very well).
Sometimes just being a member of the LGBTQ+ community feels different to our clients, even if recent law reforms have pulled them into more traditional family structures. We understand that well at McKinney Figini. Our firm has unique experience and expertise in representing members of the LGBTQ+ community, based on both long experience in representing clients in this realm and the experience of partner Joe Figini, who participated in the marriage equality movement by marrying his husband and is raising a teenager with him.
Similar to many families like his, Joe’s relationship began long before marriage equality became a reality and presents wrinkles that traditional marriages do not. He also adopted his child and went through a second parent adoption. Joe uses his professional expertise and personal experience to help guide members of the LGBTQ+ community through family law issues such as prenuptial agreements, dissolution of partnerships, divorce, adoptions, and general advice on artificial reproductive agreements.