Marriage equality has been a long battle for the LGBT community. Until 2015, Florida did not recognize same-sex marriage. However, there were many same-sex married couples residing in the state. Many of them had married elsewhere but decided to settle in Florida. That was all fine, but difficulties arose when these couples needed to end their relationships. With no same-sex marriages officially on the state’s books, the state had no mechanism with which dissolve such marriages.
Same-sex divorce involves all of the same considerations as straight divorce does. Assets must be divided, and child custody arrangements sometimes have to be made. In some cases, the couple has built a business together. Spousal support is sometimes also an issue if one party earns more than the other or if one parent has stayed home to manage the household.
There are still some difficult considerations that are particular to same-sex couples. In some states, before marriage equality was passed, people entered into civil unions. There are only two states where these were converted to marriages, however. For same-sex couples who need to dissolve a civil union, it can be complicated. One or both parties may need to establish residency in the state where the ceremony was conducted.
Any same-sex couple seeking a divorce deserves to have attorneys who understand all of these issues. An initial consultation allows both the attorney and the client to figure out if they’ll be a good fit for one another. Same-sex divorces can be challenging, but attorneys are responsible for keeping up with state and federal laws that affect how two people may end their civil union or marriage in a legally binding and equitable manner.