Federal law now mandates that same-sex marriages have all the legal rights associated with heterosexual marriages, this raises the question of what rules and regulations apply in a divorce between same-sex marriage partners. Since gay marriage is a relatively new concept under the law, when a divorce happens between same-sex couples, the courts are dealing with this in the best way they know. Courts are trying to adapt the rules for heterosexual couples to same-sex couples.
For those who are located in Florida seeking a divorce from their partner of the same sex, they must first file a petition in the jurisdiction in which they reside. In addition, one of the spouses has to have lived in Florida for a minimum of six months. Lastly, the party seeking the divorce needs to show that the marriage is broken or that one of the parties involved in the marriage is mentally incapacitated.
In cases in which neither party contests the divorce, the divorce can be granted quickly. In cases in which one of the spouses does contest the divorce, the judge may require that the couple go through counseling for a period of time to see if the marriage can be saved, order a psychiatric evaluation of one or both parties, or may take any other action the judge feels is appropriate.
When it comes to Alimony or Child Support, the same rules apply to both heterosexual and homosexual couples. However, the difficulty with proving how much alimony should be paid and for how long is usually based on the amount of time the couple has been married and the marital lifestyle. Since Florida just started to recognize same sex marriages, this may present a major issue. Especially if the couple were married in another state, years ago, before marriage became legal in Florida.
As you can see, there are some unique challenges that are going to be faced when dealing with divorce of gay couples. The law is going to change as more of these divorces take place in Florida, now that same-sex marriage has been legalized. This is why it is important to have a knowledgeable attorney representing you, one who is familiar with all of the new court policies and rules pertaining to same-sex divorce. Wendy Norman, located in Jacksonville, Florida, has had years of experience with divorce cases, and she can handle your same-sex divorce case in a way that ensures you are treated fairly.