In 2014, a federal court in Tallahassee struck down Florida’s ban on gay marriage. The next year, the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges required all states to recognize same-sex marriage. In consequence, same-sex spouses who wish to part are subject to the identical laws that govern male-female divorces in Florida. At Tucker Mitnik P.A., we understand that the resulting emotional and financial upset can be just as daunting. We help our LGBT clients contend with often contentious divorce issues such as parental rights, alimony and division of marital property. Our lawyers provide informed representation for people in Melbourne, Rockledge and throughout Brevard County.
A person who is legally married and has lived in Florida for at least six months immediately leading up to a divorce filing can seek a dissolution of marriage. Florida does not require spouses to assign blame to obtain a divorce. It is enough to allege that the marriage is irretrievably broken or if one spouse has become mentally incapacitated.
Same-sex divorce becomes more complicated when children are involved. Our attorneys build cases for the rights of parents in disputes involving child custody, adoption, surrogate mothers, sperm donors and/or assisted reproduction.
Because Florida laws do not specifically protect the rights of nonbiological parents, child custody — known as time sharing in Florida — can be a complicated issue in a same-sex divorce. In the past, courts have required a formal adoption as a condition to awarding parenting time. However, courts may be receptive to arguments that a nonbiological parent’s time sharing is in the best interests of the child when there is a demonstrated bond between them.
A contest may also arise if a surrogate mother decides to seek custody of the baby, rescinding her agreement to relinquish parental rights. The same concern does not exist when couples use a sperm donor, since under Florida law relinquishment of parental rights is automatic.
Regardless of which parent we represent, we try to forge reasonable arrangements and if necessary make arguments in court for just time-sharing plans.
Our firm has decades of experience handling divorce litigation and dispute resolution, and we apply our skills to same-sex marriage dissolution. You can expect us to provide a thorough explanation about your options and probable outcomes in regard to:
Full financial disclosure from both sides is crucial to a fair asset division or alimony award, and we make certain that our clients receive the information necessary. Based on the full picture of a couple’s assets, we can make informed decisions during negotiations about when to compromise and when to stand firm. When appropriate, we proceed to court to obtain a fair result.
The seasoned attorneys at Tucker Mitnik P.A. represent Florida men and women in same-sex divorces. We advocate for clients in the Melbourne and Rockledge area and throughout Brevard County. To schedule a consultation, call our office at 321-392-5239 or contact us online.