It has been a few years now since the Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling that gave equal marriage rights to all Americans, regardless of sexual preference. Although that ruling extended marital rights and provided clarification for citizens and states alike, it didn’t address the issue of divorce. Now, many same-sex couples are finding themselves facing challenging family law issues when they decide to dissolve their marriages.
The problem primarily lies with the length of the relationship. Generally speaking, when making certain decisions with regard to matters like alimony and property division, the court will consider the length of the marriage. However, for many same-sex couples, their relationships pre-date their legal marriage by years, sometimes even decades. So, in these instances, courts must grapple with whether to consider the length of the relationship or the length of the marriage. There are no hard and fast rules here, which means the matter is open to legal argument.
Additional issues same-sex couples are facing are those related to child custody and visitation. Oftentimes, one party to a same-sex couple either adopts or is the biological parent of a child. Yet, despite marriage being in place, the other party has no legal parental rights without further action. Therefore, in order to secure these rights, non-biological parents may want to consider their legal options.
Divorce can be messy, regardless of one’s gender or sexual preference. Before diving head-first into the marriage dissolution process, it is wise to familiarize one’s self with the applicable law and how it and the facts at hand can be utilized to one’s advantage. Family law attorneys in Florida stand ready to help these individuals confront their problems in a way that is suitable for them.