In January 2015, Florida State legalized same-sex marriage and divorce. The event was detailed in another blog entry here. Now, six months later, the United States Supreme Court has caught up to the Sunshine State and ruled in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide. It was decided that disallowing same-sex couples marriage rights was unconstitutional, as it violated the liberties granted in the Fourteenth Amendment.
The decision does not come without serious amounts of controversy, though, and opponents of the ruling were quick to voice their concerns. Some politicians urged county clerks to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Pastors in Florida are pushing for new legislation that would protect their right to refuse providing marriage ceremonies for members of the LGBTQ community. Bakers are even getting sued for not making a cake for same-sex married couples.
Controversy and Changes Abound
Putting aside opinions and taking a look at the Supreme Court’s ruling allows one to see the alterations to family law from a clearer perspective. While the obvious outcome is the right for same-sex couples to marry wherever they live, this has also allowed them to file for divorce regardless of their home state. Before the ruling, a same-sex couple who wanted to divorce might not be able to if their union was not recognized by state and local governments. To get out of their marriage, they would either need to legally separate but not divorce, which can become costly, or move to another state and live there for several months, which is inconvenient at best.
There may also be changes coming to other portions of family law as well, especially in concerns regarding divorce. In the past, when a couple dissolved their marriage, laws and judges could have a leaning bias towards one gender or the other. For example, a mother’s chances of winning child custody and support have historically been greater than the father’s, no matter what other issues were happening in the divorce. The assumption was that a child bonds more quickly with their mother, and that a mother has a greater instinct to raise and care for that child. In a same-sex marriage, what will happen to these assumptions?
30+ Years of Experience in Family Law
At Calvo & Calvo, Attorneys at Law, our team of Fort Myers divorce lawyers has always had a genuine focus on the well-being of families in our community. When Florida legalized same-sex marriage earlier this year, we were not afraid to step up to the challenge and assist our clients with disputes revolving around their newfound rights. Now that the Supreme Court has made its ruling, we know we are fully prepared to continue providing top-notch legal counsel to same-sex couples in Southern Florida. Call 800.614.5138 today to schedule your confidential case evaluation with our compassionate team.