Just weeks ago, Florida became the 36th state to lift its ban on same-sex marriage and opened the door for gays and lesbians to blissfully tie the knot — and to untie it too. The long-awaited ruling not only affords same-sex couples the right to a marriage license, but also to a divorce decree.
Because other states have been performing same-sex marriages for up to a decade, Florida is expected to see a spike in divorce or “gay-vorce” now that these couples have the same rights as opposite-sex duos.
Before the Florida January 6th decision, same-sex couples were trapped in legal uncertainty sometimes known in gay and lesbian circles as “wed-lock.” They had married in other states, but as Florida did not recognize the marriage, Florida would not grant them a divorce. Nor could they dissolve their marriage in the state in which they were wed due to long residency requirements for divorce.
Divorce may not be easy, but not having access to it can make life even more complex. Before this month’s decision, same-sex couples in Florida, who married in another state and unable to divorce, weren’t able to get on with their lives. They couldn’t marry anyone else nor sort out important details such as determining the division of assets and liabilities, child custody and child support.
It’s estimated there are nearly 50,000 same-sex couples in Florida, though it is unclear how many are married. One thing is for sure — Florida can expect thousands of same-sex weddings over the next few years. Only time will tell if the divorce rate of same-sex marriages in Florida will follow the trend of their heterosexual counterparts.
If you or someone you know is seeking legal guidance and representation from an experienced same-sex divorce attorney in South Florida, please contact Klein Law Group at 561-220-6659 or fill out the contact form on our website at www.kleinattorneys.com. We offer a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your individual case in family law, bankruptcy and real estate. Our offices are located in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.