What You Need To Know Before Getting A Same Sex Divorce In Fort Lauderdale
Same sex couples often face unique challenges when it comes to legal matters. This is particularly true if you are considering getting a divorce in Fort Lauderdale. It is important to be aware of state laws that apply in resolving important matters that could come up in your divorce case.
How Do I Get A Same Sex Divorce In Fort Lauderdale?
The laws and procedures for getting a same sex divorce in Fort Lauderdale are the same as for any married couple. You will need to file a divorce petition through the Broward County Courts, providing basic information such as the date you were married, where you reside, and the reasons why you are seeking a divorce. The only requirement for getting a divorce in Florida is that you be residents of the state, live separate and apart from each other, and are unable to resolve problems in your marriage, which is generally referred to as irreconcilable differences.
Once your divorce petition is filed, your partner will be served with it and a summons to appear at court for a preliminary hearing. If you have been married only a short while and agree on the term, your divorce can be completed in as little as a few months. In more complex cases, the process could extend considerably longer. Additional hearings and negotiation sessions may be required and the judge may refer you to mediation. If you are unable to reach agreements regarding a divorce settlement, the judge will make a decision based on the facts in the case.
Important Issues To Resolve In Same Sex Divorce Cases
Procedures for getting a divorce under the Florida Statutes are the same but divorce-related issues among same sex couples can be more complex. These include:
Marital Property Distribution
In 2015, Obergefell v. Hodges made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. However, many couples had already been living as domestic partners prior to this, which can impact marital property division. All marital property and assets accumulated during your marriage are divided on an equitable basis. With same sex couples, additional negotiations may be needed to determine division of property acquired prior to the couple’s legal wedding date.
The same type of complication exists in determining whether spousal support should be awarded. While the court generally looks at the length of the marriage, in same sex divorce it may be necessary to look at the total amount of time spent together.
Inclusion In Parenting Plans
Rights regarding children are one of the most sensitive issues in same sex divorce. If the couple adopted or used a surrogate, only one of the parties may hold the status of being a legal parent. This can prevent the other from being included in child time sharing arrangements.
Contact Us Today for Help
As an experienced Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney, Vanessa L. Prieto can help you address important issues that arise in your case. To request a consultation, call or contact our office online today.