Attorneys Guide Clients Through Same-Sex Divorce in Florida
Boca Raton lawyers providing family law services to the LGBT community
The Supreme Court’s June 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges legalizing same-sex marriage provided relief and rights for same-sex couples in Florida. While the ruling was celebrated, it created questions for same-sex couples in Florida seeking a divorce. Florida now has to allow same-sex marriages and recognize such marriages that were performed in other states. Because the state must recognize all marriages, it must also allow all couples to divorce. The Boca Raton attorneys at the Law Offices of Schwartz|White represent all couples seeking a divorce, regardless of sex, gender or orientation.
Understanding Florida’s divorce process
Our attorneys help you understand how to file for a divorce. We start by filing a form called a “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.” Florida does not require “fault” for a divorce, meaning a couple can divorce for any reason as long as one party claims the marriage is irretrievably broken. In cases where alimony and custody of minors do not need to be decided, the parties can file for a simplified divorce. In cases involving children, spousal support or any disagreement over property division, a court will be involved. Our attorneys guide you through the divorce process from start to finish, aggressively representing your interests and the interests of your children at each step in the process.
Special considerations when ending same-sex marriages in Florida
While same-sex couples in Boca Raton are entitled to the same rights as other couples during marriage and divorce, some special issues do arise during the dissolution of same-sex marriages. Historically, and notwithstanding gender-neutral laws, there has been a tendency for courts to award physical custody of children to the mother. Spousal support was also typically awarded to women. These decisions become more complex when a divorce involves two women or no women. Our attorneys zealously pursue custody and an optimal resolution to all spousal disputes.
Child custody in Florida same-sex divorces
Florida law favors joint custody over children whenever possible and in the child’s best interest. Most parents can now expect that legal and physical custody will be joint in case of a divorce, regardless of the genders of the people involved. Issues arise when a child is only biologically related to one of the parents and the other parent has not adopted the child. In certain cases, sole custody could be awarded to either parent in this type of case, regardless of which (if either) parent is biologically related to a child. Our firm takes an aggressive approach to enforcing your rights in custody disputes while making sure to minimize the impact on your children.
Spousal support in Boca Raton same-sex marriage dissolutions
Spousal support awards are typically based on need. They almost always are payments from a husband to a wife. In same-sex marriage cases, judges may be hesitant to award spousal support such as temporary alimony, rehabilitative alimony, durational alimony or permanent alimony. Our attorneys are staunch advocates of your rights in these cases, working hard to pursue support when you need it or to fight support awards when a judge asks you to pay an unfair amount.
Contact us for help with your same-sex divorce in the Boca Raton area
As this area of law quickly develops, the Law Offices of Schwartz|White stays at the forefront of any legal changes, providing skilled and determined representation to our clients. We serve all of South Florida from our office in Boca Raton. If you are thinking about divorce or you are fighting for custody, contact us today by calling 561.391.9943 or complete our online contact form.