World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day has taken place annually on December 1st since 1988, when it was established as the first global health day in history. The purpose of World AIDS Day is to support individuals diagnosed with HIV, as well as to celebrate the lives of those individuals who have died from an AIDS-related illness. This year’s theme is Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnerships.

The AIDS virus, which researchers identified in 1984, already has claimed the lives of more than 35 million people. Globally, there are currently 36.7 million individuals who are living with HIV. About 1.1 million of those individuals live in the United States, and about one in seven don’t even know that they have HIV. Although AIDS initially was considered to be a disease that affected only the gay community and intravenous drug users, that is simply no longer the case. While AIDS continues to disproportionately affect the male gay and bisexual populations, many heterosexual individuals also have HIV.

Given the widespread impact of the AIDS virus on people across the world in a relatively short period of time, it is essential that we recognize the continued need to raise money for research, combat discrimination, and educate individuals in all countries worldwide. While many advances in education, research, and knowledge have occurred with respect to HIV since 1984, there still remains significant work that is necessary to continue fighting HIV and ensuring that those with HIV suffer no discrimination.

At Argentino Family Law & Child Advocacy, LLC, we recognize World AIDS Day so that the government and members of the public across the state of New Jersey will continue to promote HIV awareness, support research projects, and educate the public across the state of New Jersey. Since our daily work deals with families and relationships, we are cognizant of the fact that HIV affects many individuals with whom we come into contact, as well as the LGBTQ community at large.

Should you need assistance with any family law-related matter, we are here to help and give you the advice that you need. Contact our office by e-mailing us at info@argentinolaw.com or call us at (973) 868-0958 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced family law attorneys today.

The Importance of Confirmatory Adoption or Order of Parentage

Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S., 135 S. Ct. 2584, 192 L. Ed. 2d 609 (2015), a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, firmly established marriage equality for same-sex marriages. However, legal issues still remain regarding same-sex parentage as state laws struggle to keep up with constantly evolving reproductive technology and the different configurations of families. This is why we strongly advise same-sex female couples who have conceived a child through Assisted Reproductive Technology, even with co-maternity, or ovum sharing, to take the precautionary step of establishing a confirmatory adoption or order of parentage in the partner who did not give birth.

New Jersey law recognizes the parent that gives birth to the child as a legal parent.   New Jersey law also establishes a rebuttable presumption that the spouse of a married woman who gives birth is the second parent of the child. N.J.Stat.9:17-43.  This is called the marital presumption. When a child is born to a same-sex married couple in New Jersey, then, both mothers are listed as parents on the child’s birth certificate based upon that presumption of parentage. However, a birth certificate is only an administrative record and is NOT a declaration of, or proof of, parentage that is universally enforceable.   Thus, we still would recommend documenting the situation in a court order of adoption so that a child is protected with regard to all federal benefits and so that the parentage based upon marital presumption is beyond dispute regardless of location around the world.

In a co-maternity situation, both women in a same-sex relationship are able to biologically participate in the reproduction process. Typically, a doctor will extract eggs from one mother and fertilize them with anonymous donor sperm in order to create pre-embryos. The doctor then implants the pre-embryos in the uterus of the second mother, who carries the child(ren) to term and gives birth.   In this situation, the genetic mother is biologically related to the child so an action to confirm parentage under New Jersey statute may be possible.

The New Jersey parentage lawyers at Argentino Family Law & Child Advocacy, LLC, are eager to answer your questions and help you understand the procedures and benefits of filing for a confirmatory adoption or an order of parentage. As your attorneys, we will focus on how best to represent your interests and achieve your desired goals. We have handled countless adoption, parentage, and family law proceedings over the years, and we will work with you to create the best strategy possible in your case. Call our offices today at (973) 868-0958 and learn how we can help you with your New Jersey family law case.

 

What Documents Should I Bring to an Initial Case Assessment?

For an individual who has little or no experience with the legal system, facing a legal problem can be intimidating, stressful, and even frightening, particularly when it involves your family. Here at Argentino Family Law & Child Advocacy, LLC, we understand how difficult your situation can be, so our first step is always to schedule an initial case assessment with you in order to get the basic facts about your legal matter. We want to make you as comfortable as possible when dealing with a legal situation that quickly can become overwhelming. Once you schedule your initial case assessment with our office, you should take a few steps to prepare for your assessment by gathering any important documents that your lawyer needs to see. While every case is different and may involve various issues, there are some common documents that generally are helpful to initially assessing your case.

Financial documents about your assets, income, and debts often are a crucial part of being able to properly assess your case from a legal perspective. For example, in a case involving divorce or the dissolution of a legal relationship, you will need to divide assets and debts. In a child support, divorce, custody, or parentage case, you will need to provide certain financial information for the purposes of calculating child support. Relevant financial documents might include income tax returns, real estate appraisals, mortgage documents, credit card statements, recent paycheck stubs, daycare receipts, documentation of health insurance costs, and other similar documents.

Likewise, if your legal case involves allegations of domestic violence, child abuse, bullying, sexual abuse, you want us to have as much information as possible about these issues. Relevant documents to bring to your initial assessment could include police reports, counseling records, medical records, criminal history records, emails or text messages, and school records. While you may not be able to gather all of the necessary documents, we can give you a much better assessment of your case if we have all of the facts in front of us.

These are a just a few examples of the type of documents that you should bring to your initial case assessment. We understand that no two families are the same, and as a result, we take a unique, individualized approach to every case that we handle. No matter what issues arise in your legal proceedings, we are here to help. The lawyers at Argentino Family Law & Child Advocacy, LLC, have handled countless family law, divorce, and other cases involving children, and we have the experience that you need. Contact our experienced team of attorneys today so that we can address your concerns and answer any questions that you might have about your case and how it will impact your family. It is our goal to ensure that you are able to have the knowledge that is necessary to make the best decisions for you and your family.