Same-Sex Marriage and Family Law: What You Need to Know in Florida
Since the landmark Supreme Court ruling in 2015 legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, significant progress has been made in recognizing and protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ couples and families. If you are in a same-sex marriage or considering getting married in Florida, it’s important to understand the unique aspects of same-sex marriage and family law in the Sunshine State. In this blog post, we will provide you with essential information to navigate the legal landscape and ensure your rights and interests are protected.
Same-Sex Marriage in Florida:
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Florida since January 2015 following the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. This means that same-sex couples have the same legal rights and responsibilities as opposite-sex couples when it comes to marriage, including issues like property division, child custody, and spousal support.
Marriage Rights and Benefits:
As a same-sex married couple in Florida, you are entitled to a range of legal rights and benefits. These may include:
- Property Rights: Same-sex spouses have the right to own and manage property jointly, including real estate, bank accounts, and other assets acquired during the marriage.
- Health Insurance: Many employers in Florida extend health insurance coverage to same-sex spouses, allowing access to vital healthcare services.
- Parental Rights: Same-sex couples have the right to establish legal parental rights through adoption or assisted reproductive technology, providing legal recognition and protection for both parents.
- Decision-Making: In the event of a medical or legal decision, same-sex spouses have the right to make decisions on behalf of their spouse, just like opposite-sex married couples.
Dissolution of Same-Sex Marriages:
The process of dissolving a same-sex marriage in Florida is the same as that for opposite-sex marriages. Couples who wish to end their marriage must file for divorce through the appropriate family court. The court will address matters such as property division, child custody, child support, and alimony in the same manner as any other divorce case.
Adoption and Parental Rights:
Same-sex couples in Florida have the same rights and opportunities for adoption as opposite-sex couples. Adoption laws do not discriminate based on sexual orientation. As a same-sex couple, you can pursue adoption jointly or individually, and the courts will consider your suitability as parents based on the best interests of the child.
Protection Against Discrimination:
Florida law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This protection extends to areas such as employment, housing, public accommodations, and access to services. If you experience discrimination, including in matters related to your family and marriage, it’s important to consult with a knowledgeable attorney who can help you understand your rights and pursue appropriate legal remedies.
Working with a Family Law Attorney:
When dealing with same-sex marriage and family law matters in Florida, it is crucial to work with a family law attorney who has experience in LGBTQ+ family law. They can provide you with the legal guidance and support needed to navigate the complexities of the legal system, ensuring that your rights and interests are protected throughout the process.
Same-sex marriage is legally recognized in Florida, granting LGBTQ+ couples the same rights and protections as opposite-sex couples. Understanding the legal aspects of same-sex marriage and family law is essential for LGBTQ+ couples to safeguard their rights and interests. By being aware of the rights and benefits, knowing the process for dissolving a same-sex marriage, and seeking guidance from an experienced family law attorney, you can navigate the legal landscape with confidence and ensure the protection of your family.