lgbt family law • adoption • surrogacy • estate planning & probate • divorce

legal protections for your modern family

Important milestones in life, such as settling down with the person you love or starting a family, often come with important legal implications. No matter what stage of your life you find yourself entering, sound legal advice can help protect your rights and assets.

Elizabeth F. Schwartz, PA was founded in 2001 to serve the unique legal needs of the modern Florida family, and is guided by these four principles:

  • We listen to our clients' concerns and intentions with respect and responsiveness.
  • We help our clients explore their options, and provide guidance through an unfamiliar legal landscape.
  • We provide creative, conscious lawyering, and when needed, vigorous advocacy.
  • We value compassion, quality, and peace of mind.


when marriage equality is not enough

Chin v. Armstrong

On August 13, 2015, Elizabeth Schwartz, along with attorneys Mary Meeks of Orlando and Shannon Minter of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, filed suit against the State of Florida Department of Health for discrimination against same-sex married parents. At issue in this specific case is the "parental presumption", which under Florida law assumes that the legal spouse of a married birth mother is also the parent of any children they have during their marriage and has a right to be listed on the child's birth certificate. Three lesbian couples (including Catherina Pareto and Karla Arguello, the lead plaintiffs in the Pareto v. Ruvin case) all recently gave birth to children after the advent of marriage equality in Florida, but were unable to obtain birth certificates for their children showing both mothers' names on them. This case has been assigned to Judge Robert Hinkle, who presided over one of the Florida marriage equality cases.

Download the press release.

Download and read the complaint.

Learn more about the case.


nationwide marriage equality is here!

On June 26, 2015, the two-year anniversary of the decision in US v. Windsor, and the twelve-year anniversary of the Lawrence v. Texas decision, the Supreme Court of the United States held that

"The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State."

- SCOTUS in Obergefell v. Hodges (click to download in PDF)


What does this mean for your relationship? Click here to learn more.


miami-dade expands human rights protections

Miami-Dade County Commission updates Human Rights Ordinance to include protections against discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression

Thanks to the hard work of grassroots organizations including SAVE, residents of Miami-Dade County are now covered by a more inclusive Human Rights Ordinance. Thanks to Commissioners Barreiro, Edmonson, Heyman, Jordan, Levine Cava, Monestime, Sosa, and Suarez for recognizing that all citizens deserve to feel safe and respected in their hometown.

Click here to read more about the commission's vote.

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