Divorce is an important aspect of the family law system for couples to have access to. The Second District Court of Appeals in Florida recently issued a decision providing for the right of same-sex couples to be divorced. When gay marriage was made legal in Florida, the issue of gay divorce was not immediately resolved. Gay divorces and the ability of gay couples to divorce remained up to the judge hearing the case and continued as a subject of debate. According to one expert, the recent decision makes it clear that gay couples can receive legal divorces in Florida .
In reaching its decision, the court concluded the government does not have a legitimate interest in denying gay couples divorces. The decision grants gay couples access to the courts for dissolution of their marriages, division of their assets and child custody arrangements. While divorce is not likely a happy occasion for anyone, it provides an important function for couples who have decided to end their marriage.
The divorce process allows couples to reach agreements related to property division, spousal support, child support and child custody and, alternately, provides a process for the court to reach decisions for the divorcing couple if they are unable to agree. Arriving at outcomes concerning important divorce legal issues such as property division, spousal support, child support and child custody are important legal concerns for a number of families. In addition, important enforcement rights may be implicated through the divorce process and post-divorce modification issues may also arise after time that need to be addressed.
Understanding the divorce process, the rights involved and how to reach important outcomes can be essential for families going through the divorce process. Family law resources are available to divorcing couples to ensure the divorce process proceeds as smoothly as possible for the parties, and family, involved.
Source: Tampa Bay Times, “Florida appellate court upholds same-sex divorce,” Anna M. Phillips, April 24, 2015