Same-Sex Couples – What Is Divorce In The State Of Florida?

There are now 13 states, and the District of Columbia, that allow same-sex marriages in the United States.

same-sex couple

Several states, however, prohibit same-sex marriages, and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), enacted in 1996, allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages performed under the laws of another state.

So, what is divorce in Florida for same-sex couples that have married under the laws of another state? How do these couples divorce since there is no body of law that allows for their divorce in Florida? To further complicate their situation, same-sex couples that reside in Florida, and married in another state where it was legal for them to marry, typically can not go back to that state to get divorced because they are not residents there.

Many times, these couples have acquired property and debt together. If they choose to litigate because they can’t agree how to divide the property and debt between them, the only choice they have is to take their claim to a regular civil court. The civil court will treat them as two unrelated people with a property ownership disagreement.

To avoid court, the options available to divorcing same-sex couples are:

  • At the time of their marriage, sign a property settlement agreement. They should consider including in the agreement a mandatory arbitration clause.
  • At the time of breakup, submit the claim to an arbitrator. The arbitration can be binding, meaning that the divorcing couple can agree they will follow the ruling of the arbitrator. To learn more about arbitration, go here.
  • At the time of breakup, submit the claim to mediation. To learn more about mediation, go here. The value of mediation is that it’s confidential, and the goal is to have a complete written agreement that resolves everything that is in dispute.
  • At the time of the breakup, submit the claim to the collaborative law process. In a collaborative breakup, the divorcing couple commit in writing to resolve the dispute outside of court. To learn more about the collaborative process, go here.

Working through any type of divorce can be difficult. Learning more about the role emotions can play is helpful. Read my free e-book: “Does Every Divorce Need a Shark?”

Need additional clarification about divorce in Florida for same-sex couples? Contact me online, call my toll free number: 877-687-1392, or call my local number: 239-210-7516.

Does Every Divorce Need a Shark


     Posted on September 15, 2013 at 8:33 am | No comment

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