JACKSONVILLE SAME-SEX DIVORCE/ADOPTION ATTORNEY
Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer for LGBT Couples
On January 5, 2015, the temporary stay on issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Florida was lifted. Florida had ruled the August prior that the 2008 same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional, making Florida the 36th state to legalize gay marriage. Consequently, same-sex divorce was also legalized because the institution of marriage between same-sex couples was finally acknowledged.
Summer Nichols Law Firm can help you if any of the following apply to you:
- You were married in another state and wish to obtain a same-sex divorce in Florida
- You were married in Florida and need to obtain a separation, divorce, or annulment in Florida
- You reside in the state of Florida and were served divorce papers
- You were married in Florida or another state and need help with child custody, alimony, or other family law issues related to divorce/separation
If any of these describes you, we invite you to get in touch with our firm today at (904) 322-7702.
Issues Facing Same-Sex Divorcing Couples
Because divorcing LGBT couples are treated the same by law as divorcing heterosexual couples, the issues they face with an impending divorce are largely the same as the issues many couples have faced for years.
- Alimony – Disagreements over alimony are a common point of contention in divorce. Factors considered when deciding alimony include duration of the marriage, age, standard of living, salary, and more.
- Child Support – Child support payments are usually awarded to the party that gets primary custody of the children. The amount of that support is usually the sticking point.
- Parenting Time / Visitation – Visitation, also called “parenting time,” is awarded to the non-custodial parent. Problems can arise when the custodial parent does not want visitation or are not happy with the way visits have been set up.
- Property Division – Division of property in Florida divorces is equitable, taking into consideration separate and marital property. Equitable does not mean equal, so deciding which spouse is entitled to which of the marital properties can be difficult.
JACKSONVILLE SAME-SEX ADOPTION ATTORNEY
Florida has made strides in recent years to help same-sex couples grow their families. If you are looking to adopt, Summer Nichols can guide you through the legal processes of adopting as a same-sex couple.
First, let’s look at the history of gay adoption in Florida.
Is Same-Sex Adoption Legal in Florida?
As the result of a long and continuing battle for equal rights, same-sex adoption in Florida is more possible now than ever before. Prior to 2010, same-sex adoption was explicitly illegal in Florida, but the Florida Court of Appeals declared the ban unconstitutional.
Still, Florida statutes indirectly barred same-sex couples from adopting jointly. The law stated that any individual could adopt alone and that any married couple could adopt jointly. Because same-sex couples could not legally marry, they also could not adopt as a couple.
In these cases, one parent could pursue adoption and be the legal parent of the child, and the second parent would raise the child without having legal custody. These kinds of situations were not ideal, as the second parent would have no rights to the child in the eyes of the law. During this time, many couples were still able to successfully grow their families through second-parent or step-parent adoptions.
Fortunately, as same-sex couples have won the right to marry, the right to adopt has quickly followed suit. Today, the laws surrounding same-sex adoption are in a constant state of change, heading in a direction of progress. Not only has the constitutional ban on same-sex adoption been lifted, but more and more agencies are opening their doors to help hopeful parents like you grow their families.