If you and your same-sex spouse wish to divorce, you may face challenges that divorcing heterosexual couples do not. FindLaw explains that prior to the landmark 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, many states, including Florida, did not recognize same-sex marriages.
Even though Obergefell made same-sex marriage, and by extension, same-sex divorce, the law of the land, Florida judges have little precedential law to follow regarding the possible complications inherent in your particular union.
Basic divorce requirements
At minimum, you must file your divorce petition in the Family Court of the county in which you live, and at least one of you must have lived in Florida for a minimum of six months prior to the filing. Since Florida is a no-fault divorce state, the petition need only allege that the marriage has become irretrievably broken. If applicable, you can allege that the other spouse suffers from mental incapacity.
Unfortunately, you may then face complications, such as the following:
- Did you and your spouse enter into a legal marriage or a domestic partnership or civil union?
- Did your marriage or relationship begin prior to 2015?
- Do you have children?
- Did both of you legally adopt those children?
- Alternatively, is one of you the biological parent of those children and the other a legally adoptive parent?
- Is either of you requesting spousal support from the other?
If you and your same-sex spouse basically agree about the need for divorce, you may wish to consider obtaining a mediated divorce as opposed to a traditional litigated one. Not only does mediation provide you with a considerably more amicable end to your marriage, but it also allows the two of you to decide your own issues rather than leaving it up to a judge to resolve them.