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Same Sex Couple’s Divorce May Challenge Florida’s Ban on Gay Marriage

By armitchell on April 21, 2014

The divorce attorneys at Farah & Farah in Jacksonville have been following an interesting story concerning a same-sex couple’s attempt to get a divorce in Florida — a case that has the potential to upend Florida’s current constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Some background: the lesbian couple was married in Massachusetts in 2010, where gay marriage is legal, and then moved to Florida, where same sex marriage is not recognized.

The couple is now seeking a divorce in Florida, which raises some very interesting questions. How can the state of Florida grant the divorce to the couple when it doesn’t recognize their marriage in the first place?

Simply going back to Massachusetts and getting a divorce is not a viable solution. The couple has been told that in order to get a divorce in that state, they must move back and live there for a year.

Attorneys for the women have argued that while Florida prohibits gay marriage, it doesn’t specifically ban same-sex divorce. This leaves the judge hearing the case with an interesting quandary: she can rule that Florida recognizes same-sex divorce, which still begs the question; how can the state recognize the divorce if it doesn’t recognize the marriage?

Or, some have speculated that the judge can rule that Florida’s same-sex marriage prohibition is unconstitutional, thereby clearing the way for the couple’s divorce.

A second hearing on the matter is scheduled for April 22. The attorneys for the couple say that if their clients are not granted a divorce they will appeal that decision to the Florida Supreme Court.

We are following this case with great interest. Could this case upend Florida’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage? Will the judge in this case not grant the divorce, thereby throwing the whole question into the lap of the Florida Supreme Court? If Florida’s same-sex marriage ban is ruled unconstitutional, what will be the implications for family law in the state?

If you have questions about your legal rights during a divorce, don’t hesitate to call our family law attorneys toll-free at (800) 533-3555 today. You can also contact us online to schedule a free consultation concerning your case.

Posted in: Family Law

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The attorneys of Farah & Farah in Jacksonville, Florida have experience with personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, workers’ compensation, social security, injury and negligence lawsuits. Eddie Farah and our team of Jacksonville attorneys are proud to represent working people and families throughout the country.

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