On January 6, 2015, same-sex marriage became legal in the state of Florida as a result of a U.S. District Court opinion that concluded that Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Then, on June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded in the landmark decision of Obergefell v. Hodges that it is unconstitutional for any state to ban same-sex marriage. This was a landmark victory for same-sex couples seeking equal treatment under the law, but some uncertainty remains regarding what happens when same-sex couples decide to divorce. It is critical to ensure that you understand the specific contours of your rights and that you are treated appropriately. Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney Carmen G. Soto has over 15 years of experience assisting South Florida residents with family law matters, including divorce, timesharing arrangements, child support, property division, alimony, paternity, step-parent adoption, and modifications to final judgments. We offer a flexible payment plan to accommodate the financial circumstances of our clients, and our staff speaks Spanish at your convenience.Understanding the Rights Provided by Same-Sex Marriage
According to the 2010 census, there are almost 50,000 same-sex couples in Florida. The UCLA Williams Institute predicts that during the next three years there will be at least 25,000 same-sex marriage ceremonies. Moreover, a previous state law that prevented Florida courts from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states has been invalidated. At this point in time, divorces by same-sex partners are treated exactly the same as opposite sex partners are.
Although there formerly was a lack of clarity regarding the right of same-sex couples to seek divorces in Florida, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges made it clear that states cannot disallow marital rights to couples in a same-sex marriage, including the right to seek a divorce. Two major issues involved in many divorce proceedings are timesharing arrangements and the division of assets.
When children are involved in a separation or divorce, it can be difficult for everyone involved. Parents take pride in protecting the best interests of their children, but they may not agree on how that should be done. If one spouse in a same-sex marriage is the biological mother or father of a child, but the other partner has not adopted the child, the biological parent will generally have an advantage in a timesharing dispute. If neither parent is a biological parent, the court will consider a number of factors when determining how to award custody between the divorcing spouses in a same-sex marriage. In situations in which both parents are legal guardians, the court will grant timesharing to each of them. Decisions regarding visitation rights and scheduling will be based on the best interests of the child.Discuss Your Divorce Proceeding with a Fort Lauderdale Attorney
At the Law Offices of Carmen G. Soto, we are ready to assist spouses in a same-sex marriage with interpreting the evolving area of law governing their rights in marriage, divorce, and other family law matters. Compassionate Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer Carmen G. Soto is prepared to help you further your interests. We are conveniently located across the street from the new Broward County courthouse, which means that we do not need to charge clients for parking or travel fees when we go to court on their behalf. Family law attorney Carmen G. Soto serves people throughout Broward County, including in Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Miramar, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Davie, Plantation, Sunrise, Lauderhill, Weston, Tamarac, Margate, Hallandale Beach, Lauderdale Lakes, and other cities. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 954-523-0703 or contact us online.