In January, Florida became the 36th state to legalize same-sex marriage. The news was met with celebration from many couples that have long awaited the chance to formalize their relationships in the eyes of the law. Although many of these couples has chosen to get married in other states, their marriages were not recognized by Florida, and so they lacked the rights offered to other married couples here.
In addition to the right to legally marry, Florida same-sex couples have also been granted the right to divorce. This comes as a relief to some who had sat in marital purgatory following the disintegration of their marriages. These couples, while able to marry in other states, could not seek divorces out of state, as they did not meet the residency requirements of those states. This created a real issue for them that, apart from relocating to another state, could not be remedied until state law changed.
Although legal divorce may seem like a symbolic step, it actually has a number of practical implications for these couples. Matters such as alimony and child custody were put on hold as they awaited legislative changes. When there was a dispute regarding these issues, the couples had very few options and often were only able to turn to the court system in extreme cases.
Now that same-sex marriages are legal, many couples can move forward in formalizing their commitments to one another, while others can officially end their unions. They may enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as traditional male-female couples. This means that if you are now interested in pursuing a divorce in Florida, you may take the same steps as any other couple, including drafting a child custody agreement. For help with this process and others, meet with an experienced family law attorney at the Law Office of K. Dean Kantaras.