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The Impact of Same-Sex Marriage Legalization in Florida

On behalf of The Law Offices of Cindy D. Sackrin posted in Family Law on Friday, July 10, 2015.

Earlier this year, a federal judge in Florida instructed court clerks in Florida to follow his order and issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Following the judge's instructions, thousands of same-sex couples have been married in Florida. Although precise numbers are not available, court clerks in Central Florida have reported a sharp increase in the number of marriage licenses issued. Some counties in Florida report greater than a 30 percent increase in marriage licenses. During a 24-hour period following the judge's order earlier this year, Broward County had the highest number of same-sex marriage licenses issued with a total of 184.

In two counties that have continued to keep track, marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples account for approximately 10 percent of the total number of marriage licenses that have been issued. Court clerks in central Florida report that issuing marriage licenses to gay couples has become routine. Most recently, the United States Supreme court ruled that every state must permit same-sex couples to marry. In Florida, the ruling ended a period of uncertainty surrounding the status and future of same-sex marriage in the state.

Now that same-sex marriage has become legal throughout the U.S. and in Florida, gay couples likely have concerns and questions about family law issues such as prenuptial agreements or other family planning concerns. Planning for a marriage, or the growth of a family, can involve important legal planning. In addition, gay couples may also have concerns about the implications of the new legal environment on them and other important family law issues such as divorce.

While there may be many family law questions that gay couples have, a number of answers are available. As is true of any couple contemplating marriage, divorce or family planning, there are important legal concerns that can be effectively addressed through the family law process which all couples should be educated concerning and familiar with to be able to address concerns unique to their family and circumstances.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Number getting married in Central Florida rises sharply since gay-marriage ban's end," Renee Stutzman, July 3, 2015

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