Same sex marriage is a fairly new thing to the legislation in most states. This leave same sex couples to face unique challenges when it comes to same sex divorce. Because there is no specific legislation made for same sex divorce, judges must interpret laws that were made with heterosexual couples in mind. There is little to no guidance for them when it comes to same sex divorces.
Challenges for same sex divorce in Florida
Same sex couples face unique challenges in a divorce when it comes to child custody and alimony. These challenges can be especially difficult when one parent is the biological parent and the other is an adopted parent. Below are the challenges and how couples can overcome them:
Challenges when both parents have legal rights
Both parties are legal parents if the child was born into the marriage and birth parents signed the birth certificate or if both parties adopted the child. In these cases, proceedings are the same as in a heterosexual couple’s divorce.
Challenges if only one person is the legal parent
If only one person has parent right under the law, it is likely that the other parent will have not legal rights at all. This means they are not entitled to visitation, child support, or any custody. This can bring about the biggest challenges in a same sex divorce and is handled much easier when both parties can agree.
Adoption by same sex couples
When adopting, if both parents don’t list themselves as adopting parents, the one not listed will not have parental rights. If an adopted child is brought into a marriage it is important for the other parent to sign a second-parent adoption. It is always important for both parent to sign the adoption to make things run more smoothly in case of a divorce.
Alimony in same sex divorce
Alimony becomes complicated in same sex divorce because marriage has only been legally recognized for about a year. In Florida alimony is given based on the amount of years the couple was married. It can be hard to prove that a same sex couple was technically married for longer than it has been legally recognized.
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