In January, Florida became the latest state to legalize same-sex marriage. For couples that had waited years to make their unions official in the eyes of the law, the news was greeted with celebration and joy. For another segment of the population, however, the new law only raised more questions.
Same-sex couples that wanted a divorce in Florida did not receive the same unambiguous green light as those interested in same-sex marriage. The law allowing for same-sex marriage was not explicit about the rights for these couples, and many courts insisted that the law did not require that they grant a divorce to a petitioning couple.
The reason why this has been an especially challenging matter for married same-sex couples is because they have no other way to end their union. Many states allow out-of-staters to get married in their states, but they do not extend this same right to those wishing to divorce. Residency requirements prohibit individuals from a state like Florida from traveling to state where same-sex marriage is legal and ending their union.
This meant that Florida couples had to wait out the change in legislation. When it finally came, many found their petitions rejected by judges that insisted the law was up for debate.
Finally, a Florida appellate court has ruled on the matter and upheld the right of these couples to obtain a divorce. Divorce may seem like a strange thing to celebrate, but for couples that have been waiting years to officially sever their unions, the court ruling is welcome news.
To learn more about your options when considering a divorce in Florida, meet with an experienced attorney at the Law Office of K. Dean Kantaras today.