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Does Same-Sex Marriage in Florida Mean Same-Sex Divorce?

Same-Sex MarriageThe Tampa Bay Times recently reported that the overturned prohibition of same-sex marriage in Florida not only allows for same-sex couples to wed, but, it should also allow for those couples to divorce.

This has been an issue in Florida due to the fact that the state did not recognize the marriages of people of the same sex.

Thus, when the marriage ban was in place, couples that tied the knot in another state and eventually resided in Florida could not be granted a divorce.

They had two choices: One partner could live six months in a state that recognized such marriages, and after becoming a resident, file for divorce, or they could go to small claims court in Florida in order to take charge of their property.

The first scenario was impractical for most and the second was inequitable for at least one of the spouses.

Also Read : What Florida’s No-Fault Laws Mean for a Divorce

Courts May Need to Rule

However, it’s unclear if Florida courts will immediately begin hearing same-sex divorce cases even though the majority of society is for this motion. That’s because there is legal precedent in Florida for rejecting such cases.

As an example, Mariana Changeling Shaw unsuccessfully sought a same-sex divorce. Her petition, which she filed in 2012, was rejected by the court, which cited the state’s same-sex marriage prohibition. The ruling has been appealed.

It’s expected that Florida’s Court of Appeal for the Second District will adhere to federal rulings, which have confirmed that if one can legally enter into a marriage, one may also be granted a divorce.

Problems for Those Still Married

When same-sex marriage was granted by various states, there was a huge rush by those couples who wanted to marry. That euphoria resulted in some legal unions that were based more on momentary excitement than on the attributes that define a lasting relationship. This resulted in many couples who wanted to later divorce but couldn’t.

Thus, if someone who had ended a relationship was interested in remarrying,he or she could not because they were still legally married to another person.

Also, if he or she separated with a spouse, there were no laws governing the equitable distribution of property, insurance benefits, or child custody. As a result, many couples found themselves in limbo.

What Will Happen?

It makes sense that those in same-sex marriages will certainly have the same divorce rights as other couples; however, currently there are various legal questions to be answered by the courts.

If you have concerns regarding the dissolution of your same-sex marriage, contact the divorce attorneys at the Estevez-Pazos Law Firm in Coral Gables, Florida. We will be glad to discuss your situation.

For questions about same-sex divorce, please call us at 305-717-7130. We have a legal team that is always ready to serve those in need.

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