In January 2015, the stay on a ruling issued by a federal district judge expired, which resulted in Florida legally recognizing same-sex marriages. With the acknowledgment of the unions came the ability for these couples to legally dissolve their marriage as well.
At Griffin Family Law, our legal team has years of experience helping clients dealing with all types of family law issues, including divorce for same-sex couples.
Divorces for Same-Sex Couples in Florida
The ban on same-sex marriage in Florida was invalidated in August 2014. The Judge over the case argued that prohibiting this violated the Due Process and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clauses. The order was stayed until January 5, 2015, which gave the state the chance to appeal the decision at the Supreme Court level. However, the appeal was denied, which meant that the stay expired, allowing same-sex couples to legally marry starting on January 6, 2015.
The right to legally marry meant that same-sex couples also had the right to legally divorce. In the past, the state didn’t recognize same-sex unions in Florida (or in another state), which meant those who were trying to divorce had no options in the state. With this legal decision, these proceedings were made possible.
How Same-Sex Couples Can Get a Divorce in Neptune Beach
To be awarded a divorce in Florida, it’s necessary for a same-sex couple to meet the same requirements to dissolve a marriage as anyone else. This includes:
- A legal marriage must exist. Thanks to the ruling mentioned above, a same-sex marriage conducted in another state will meet this requirement.
- One spouse had to reside in Florida for a minimum of six months before they filed for divorce.
- The marriage must be irretrievably broken, or one of the spouses must have been declared mentally incapacitated.
When the requirements above are met, then the divorce can move forward. There is a 20-day waiting period in Florida before the divorce will be considered finalized.
If a same-sex couple does not have minor children and they do not disagree about what to do, such as property division, they can go through a simplified dissolution. With this, the process is usually faster than traditional divorce proceedings. This allows those involved to get on with their lives without delays or long court processes.
While this may be an option, it’s still smart to get in touch with our legal team at Griffin Family Law to see if the simplified dissolution option makes sense in your situation or if you should opt for a more traditional divorce.
Property Division Issues for Same-Sex Couples
One of the main issues for any divorce, including divorce between a same-sex couple, is the division of property. Property that may need to be considered includes the money in the bank accounts, marital home, vehicles, and any other assets and personal property. For couples with a prenuptial agreement, the court will consider if it is enforceable.
It’s also worth noting that only property that is acquired in the course of the marriage is subject to property division. What this means is that if an item was brought into the marriage by one spouse, it would remain owned by that person. It also applies to any amounts or gifts received by one spouse as an inheritance during the course of the marriage.
Remember, the state of Florida is considered an equitable distribution state. What this means is that the marital property is divided based on what is fair rather than equally between the two people (which is how it is done in other states). In trying to figure out what is “fair,” the court is going to consider several different factors, which include:
- How long the marriage lasted
- The contributions that each spouse made during the course of the marriage
- The current economic situation of each spouse
The fact is, when it comes to property division, things can get complex and contested. This is true for any divorce. Because of that, it is smart to let our legal team help with your case. At Griffin Family Law, we will represent you and your best interests throughout the divorce process.
Hire Our Legal Team for Help with Your Same-Sex Divorce in Neptune Beach
The fact is that divorce can be messy and emotional. Because of this, it is smart to let our legal team give you a hand with the process. Our team will learn about your situation and help create a plan to ensure some of the stress of the situation is reduced. We are here to help you and ensure you understand the divorce process every step of the way. Our team is here to help – contact us today to learn more or to schedule a consultation.