Tinero, Aharonov and Associates Tinero*, Aharonov and Associates A Family Law Practice, LLP

* Ellen Friedman Tinero has retired from the firm


Agreement modification desired for couple's frozen embryos

Every family is different, and every family has the potential to change at any moment. What was initially agreed upon by a couple starting a family may not be suitable long-term. In California, when it comes to the battle for frozen embryos after a couple splits, an agreement modification may be in order.

Actress Sofia Vergara and her ex-fiancé, Nick Loeb, took advantage of science when they were a couple to freeze embryos for future use if and when they decided to have a family together. They signed a contract, as many couples do in this situation, laying some rules to the use of the embryos. They would only use them if they both agreed to it.

Loeb and Vergara have broken up, and Vergara is engaged to another man. Loeb is insisting that he be granted legal control of the embryos. His argument is that keeping the embryos frozen indefinitely is the same as killing them. Other embryo cases have occurred where the initial agreement was changed, but the cases have been in favor of women with cancer who were seeking rights to the embryos.

Embryos are a newer legal challenge since there are so many views on what stage of life the embryo is in, and thus, what the legal rights are to them. Couples usually, but do not always, file worst-case-scenario agreements for custody issues concerning embryos, and even if they do, one party may change his or her mind. People hoping for an agreement modification in California may choose to seek experienced legal counsel.

Source: msnbc.com, "Embryo wars: Avoiding Sofia Vergara's legal woes", Lisa Green, August 3, 2015

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Encino, CA 91436

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* Ellen Friedman Tinero has retired from the firm