Especially with the recent change to marriage laws, family law issues are as important as ever for gay couples. It has been just over one month since the same-sex marriage ban in Florida was struck down and same-sex couples became legally able to marry in the state. High numbers greeted the first day and smaller numbers were recorded throughout the rest of the month. Though reportedly smaller, one-third to one-fourth of marriage licenses in different counties throughout the state were issued for same-sex couples. The reported numbers may not be entirely accurate, however, because not all marriage license forms require gender information.
Newly married same-sex couples report there are a variety of legal and administrative tasks to take care of following becoming legally married. Official changes from domestic partners to spouses can be made and a variety of legal name changes and ownership updates have to be made. When planning for marriage, there are a variety of important legal considerations couples may wish to concern themselves with and options available to couples, straight and gay, to help them plan for the legal aspects of their union.
Property decisions and decisions concerning children, as well as important concerns if one partner passes away, can all be provided for through the family law process. Prenuptial agreements can help resolve, ahead of time, some of the concerns that couples who have decided to end a marriage may need to address, including property decisions and decisions related to children. Couples will also likely have to resolve tax and retirement issues when ending a marriage.
While the usual Valentine’s Day surge is expected for all types of marriages in Florida, there are important legal consequences when entering or exiting a marriage that couples may wish to consider in addition to the more heartwarming considerations. Resolving family law legal issues can help the couple more fully and easily focus on the wedding and marriage.
Source: The Tampa Tribune, “About a third of Hillsborough’s January marriages were same-sex couples,” Keith Morelli, Feb. 7, 2015