Same Sex Divorce

As of June 26, 2015, thanks the Supreme Court of the United States' ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, it is now recognized that same sex couples have the right to marry as protected under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution (the right of equal protection of law). This monumental decision on the equality of American's right to marriage is one of the most important court decisions in the last 60 years.

By lifting marriage bans upheld by many states in the country, it is now possible for same sex couples to get married. The fight for equal marriage began as early as 1970, when Jack Baker and Michael McConnell were denied a marriage license in Minnesota (and some would argue the question has been raised as early as the 1950s).

While many people are celebrating the equal ability of a person's right to marry, it is equally important that couples should be able to be divorced as well. After the Supreme Court's ruling was announced, the first same sex divorce was filed in Orleans Parish District Court in Louisiana.

In Florida, even though Same Sex Marriages started to be recognized in January 2015, there were still ongoing legal battles to determine the right for a same sex couple's ability to divorce up until May 2015, in Brandon-Thomas v Brandon-Thomas.

In the case, there was an issue whether Florida should grant divorces to same sex couples that were married out of state. Thankfully, in a ruling made by the Second District Court of Appeal, same sex couples were granted the right to divorce in Florida, even if they were married in another state.

Of course, this ruling was made a non-issue, after the June 26 ruling by the Supreme Court.

Now that the legalities surrounding same sex marriage and divorce are settled, are there any issues still lingering around issues specific to same sex divorce?

  1. What if the marriage occurred in a different state because of previous legal bans?
  2. If a marriage occurred before June 26, 2015, will there be any remaining legal issues?
  3. What are the issues surrounding same sex divorces because of previous definitions of civil unions, as opposed to fully granted same sex marriage?
  4. Will there be issues around adoptions that occurred before the Supreme Court's same sex marriage ruling?

While there are specific issues that may be unique to same sex marriage, that doesn't mean that in the eyes of the law there would be differences. Most, if not all, issues should be handled in an equitable way to marriage between a man and a woman. Legal advice should be able to adhere to this line of thinking, otherwise it would be the best to seek out other legal counsel.

Issues of alimony, division of property, child support, custody, visitation, are all thankfully handled in the same manner as any other divorce, and it would be in a person's best interest to hire as capable an attorney as possible.

Not only has VilarLaw handled hundreds of divorce cases, but we take pride in the treatment of our LGBTQ clients. We handle their cases with as much care and attention as any other client that comes for legal consultation.

Please contact the VilarLaw offices at (305)373-8000, to evaluate your Same Sex Marriage.

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