Florida Board Certified Same-Sex Divorce Lawyer Who Will Handle Divorce Cases For Same-Sex Couples In Broward, Dade and Palm Beach Counties
Attorneys Daniel Forrest and Paulina Forrest in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who handle same-sex divorce cases, understand the difficulties parties encounter in the State of Florida.
Until recently, Florida couples who were married in another state where such unions are legal and ultimately decide to divorce, did not have the same rights or protections that are given to heterosexual couples by this state’s divorce laws. This all changed on December 19, 2014 when Broward County Circuit Judge Dale Cohen granted the first same-sex divorce for Heather Brassner and Megan Lade by acknowledging their “out-of-state marriage” as legal and dissolving the civil union in a Broward County family law court room.
Civil Court Action
This is history in the making for the Florida civil and family courts. It used to be that same-sex divorces were heard in civil court rather than family court but recent rulings have altered everything. Considering that results may vary depending on the judge, if the Court refuses to hear the final hearing matter, then the case would have to be transferred to civil court to be dealt with in the same manner that the court handles property ownership disputes between two unrelated persons.
This process is very different from the efficient and focused procedures that guide divorce cases in family court. Our attorneys have the experience to successfully negotiate and finalize same-sex divorce cases within the Family Law Division of the Circuit Courts of Florida.
Property and Asset Division
In many cases same-sex couples with dual income have a lot on the line! If the same-sex parties going through the divorce have a written agreement regarding property and the distribution of such, then this agreement will guide the court in settling your case. In a civil court, they will treat the document as they would any contract between two business partners. The court will not be concerned with issues of fairness in the complex division of property and assets; thus, if the agreement favors one party over another, chances are that the favored party will prevail. Oral agreements may be considered, however such agreements are difficult to confirm, as the two parties often remember details of such agreements differently.
Child Custody and Parental Responsibility for Same-Sex Parents
Child custody and time-sharing issues in a same-sex divorce are heard in family court. Child custody situations can be much different and more complicated when a same-sex divorce occurs. If one of the partners is the biological parent of the child and no second-parent adoption has been entered, the parent with legal relationship will have custody rights.
The outcome concerning custody of minor and/or dependent children will depend on the specific facts. The family court will consider numerous factors when deciding on child custody, including how long the partner had been caring for the child and how involved he or she was in bringing up the child. Recent changes in Florida case law make this a dynamic area within family law that requires knowledgeable representation.
If both partners are the legal parents, then each will probably have custody rights. This occurs when there has been a joint adoption or when the second parent has adopted the child. If this is the situation, the family court will look at the case in the same way that they would when considering custody issues related to an unmarried heterosexual couple. In the State of Florida, it is the welfare and best interest of the child that guides the court in custody and visitation decisions.
If you are going through a same-sex divorce in the State of Florida, the Law Office Of Forrest & Forrest, PLLC offers options other than complex litigation. Mediation for same-sex or gay couples can be an effective way to settle the various disputes that are associated with the breakup of a couple. Also, you may each decide to have your lawyers work collaboratively to settle your dispute outside of court. Each of these methods can be less contentious and time consuming than civil or family court.
ReaCh OUt To Our Florida Divorce Lawyers
If you are about to go through a same-sex divorce, call us at 954-800-5000 and our knowledgeable and experienced same-sex divorce professionals will be happy to meet with you and answer your questions. It is important to work with a Florida Board Certified Marital & Family Law attorney if you are going through a same-sex divorce. Your lawyer will ensure that your rights are protected, that you are treated fairly, and that all aspects of your divorce are dealt with properly. You can also email our fort Lauderdale firm to make an appointment.