Getting a divorce can be tough for any couple. When you’re a same-sex couple, the process can be even more challenging, especially if children are involved. In order to get the results you want – and to do what’s best for your family – it’s important to work with a qualified Orlando LGBT divorce lawyer.
At Conti Moore Law, PLLC, our attorneys understand that LGBT couples face unique challenges – from residency to child support to property division and beyond. Our central Florida law firm also understands the best approaches to tackle these issues head-on and find the best possible solutions for our clients.
Put 50+ years of family law experience in your corner. Call our law offices in Orlando, Florida at (407) 831-0203 to arrange a free consultation to learn more about how our top-rated legal team can help.
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How Our Family Law Attorneys Can Help With Your LGBT Divorce
Contemplating a divorce can be a stressful time to say the least. Depending on your personal circumstances, there may be numerous parties involved, each with their own interests in mind. For this reason, it is important to have a team of legal professionals on your side to ensure your interests are adequately represented. Hiring an experienced Orlando family law attorney can make a world of difference in how your case unfolds.
At Conti Moore Law, PLLC, our attorneys have 50+ years of collective experience working with family law cases just like yours. We understand how important a fair divorce settlement is, and we’re prepared to put the full force and weight of our law firm behind your divorce proceedings.
When you hire our legal team, you can expect us to:
- Do our due diligence when researching your case to make sure no stone is left unturned
- Negotiate with the other side with your interests in mind to ensure fair proceedings
- Conduct investigations when necessary to ensure your interests are fully articulated
- Put an experienced trial attorney on your case if necessary
You deserve time to focus on moving on with your life. Let our accomplished family law attorneys in Orlando, FL handle your pursuit of compensation. Call our law office to arrange a free consultation at a time that’s convenient for you to get started today.
Is LGBT Divorce Legal in Florida?
Yes, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) spouses can get a divorce in the Sunshine State. However, LGBT divorce cases are relatively new. That’s because same-sex marriage has only been legal in Florida for a handful of years.
In 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States held that states cannot prohibit LGBT couples from getting married. As a result, same-sex marriage became legal in all 50 states – including Florida. With the right to get married comes the right to get divorced.
And, just like with heterosexual couples, not all LGBT marriages last.
But, getting divorced tends to be more complicated for same-sex couples. Florida law is still trying to catch up with the times. LGBT couples often find themselves in situations and faced with challenges that heterosexual couples rarely, if ever, have to deal with.
Can I Get a Divorce If I Got Married In Another State Before LGBT Marriage Was Legal in Florida?
There were some states in the country that recognized same-sex marriage before the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in the United States.
What happens if you were married in one of these states prior to 2015 and now live in Orlando? Can you get a divorce here?
Yes. Just like it doesn’t matter where heterosexual couples marry, it doesn’t matter where same-sex couples tied the knot, either. As long as you meet the minimum requirements to file a divorce and go through the process of divorce, then your marriage can be dissolved in Florida.
What Are the Requirements For Same-Sex Couples to Get Divorced in Florida?
Any couple who wants to get divorced in the state of Florida – regardless of sexual orientation – must meet certain minimum requirements.
- One of the spouses must live in Florida for at least 6 months before filing for a divorce, and
- The divorce papers must be filed in a county where at least one spouse lives (so if you live in Orlando, FL you’d have to file for divorce in Orange County).
If you haven’t met the six-month minimum requirement you’ll have to hold off on filing for divorce. Once you’ve been in the state for six months, then you can move forward with your petition for dissolution.
What Are the Grounds For LGBT Divorce in Florida?
No one will have to accept the blame or take responsibility for the divorce. Florida doesn’t have “fault” based rules in place for heterosexual or same-sex divorces. Instead, you must simply acknowledge that your marriage is “irretrievably broken.” There’s no need to explain why or what led you to your decision.
Alternatively, you can also file for divorce if one spouse suffers from a mental incapacity. However, there must be convincing medical evidence of this incapacity to move forward with the process.
Is Spousal Support Available in a Same-Sex Divorce?
Florida extends the same rights to same-sex couples in a divorce as heterosexual couples – including the right to get alimony.
Spousal support, however, is not available in all LGBT divorce cases. It’s reserved for situations where the divorce would have a detrimental impact on one spouse because they make considerably less money than the other. When alimony is awarded the difference in income (or earning power) is typically due to the fact that one spouse put their job or career on hold to support the other (or their family).
There are a few factors that are considered by a court when it’s asked to award alimony in an LGBT divorce:
- How long the couple was married
- Each spouse’s ability to earn an income and support themselves
- Each spouse’s physical health and mental wellbeing
- The standard of living enjoyed by the couple while they were married
- How each spouse contributed to the marriage (both financially and in other ways)
A judge will also consider how property is allocated in the divorce when determining (a) if spousal support is appropriate and (b) how much spousal support should be awarded.
How is Property Divided When Same-Sex Couples Divorce in Orlando?
When you’re married everything you have is shared. When you get a divorce you have to figure out how to divide your assets (and debts). That can be incredibly challenging, especially when you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse aren’t on the same page. You’ll also have to take Florida’s equitable distribution laws into account, too (unless you have a prenuptial agreement).
Unlike other states where marital property must be divided up and allocated evenly, Florida law states that marital property (and debts) must be divided up fairly. This may or may not be an equal distribution to each same-sex partner.
What’s fair? That’s a tough question to ask two people who have decided that being married is no longer right for them. This is where having an experienced Orlando family law attorney helping you through the divorce process can be incredibly helpful.
At Conti Moore Law, PLLC, our same-sex divorce lawyers will help you make an accounting of all of your marital property. We’ll help you sort out items or assets that should be classified as separate property and not subject to division. Then, our team will work with you to identify the assets you have your heart set on and what you’re willing to give up or compromise.
As your legal representative, we’ll take care of negotiations with your spouse and their counsel. Our goal will be to find an amicable resolution to the distribution of property – with the goal of securing the property you’re most interested in keeping for yourself.
How Are Child Custody and Visitation Handled in a Florida Same-Sex Divorce?
Parents generally have equal rights and obligations when it comes to minor children. When parents split up – whether they identify as heterosexual or LGBT – Florida divorce law requires them to figure out how legal custody and physical custody will be arranged.
Legal custody refers to a parent’s right to make decisions that affect a child’s health and well-being. Both spouses can share legal custody or it can belong solely to one parent.
Physical custody refers to a parent’s right to be present in their child’s life. In Florida, parents who want to share custody must execute a Parenting Plan and Time-Sharing Agreement. A time-sharing agreement reflects how a child’s time will be split between the two parents. Custody can be divided up evenly (as best as practically possible).
Alternatively, an arrangement can give one parent more time with the child than the other. The parent with a greater timeshare is known as the custodial parent, while the other gets what’s typically referred to as visitation.
If parents can’t agree on how time-sharing should look, a family law judge in Orange County will intervene.
Factors that a judge might take into consideration in a custody dispute include:
- Each parent’s relationship with a child
- Each parent’s living arrangements and ability to provide for the child
- Each parent’s physical health and mental wellbeing
- Where the child currently lives and where each parent will be residing after the divorce
- The child’s own preference (if they’re mature enough to make that kind of decision).
Ultimately, custody is decided to reflect what’s in the child’s best interests (not a parent’s).
Alternative Dispute Resolution Strategies to Help the LGBT Divorce Process
The longer it takes you to hash out those terms, the longer your divorce will take. The longer it takes, the more expensive it will be.
At Conti Moore Law, PLLC, we know that certain alternative dispute resolution (ADR) tools can help you find common ground, figure out mutually-agreeable solutions, and get through the divorce process as quickly as possible.
We are extremely knowledgeable in all types of ADR, including mediation and arbitration. When you choose one of these options, you give yourself the power to keep important decisions about your life private and (at least somewhat) in your control.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Trusted Orlando LGBT Divorce Lawyer
Whether you’ve been married for two years or 20, getting a divorce can be incredibly stressful. You’re separating from someone you cared enough about to marry – and that can be tough for anyone to deal with. As a result, it can be difficult to figure out the terms of your LGBT divorce and see eye to eye, especially as tensions and emotions run high.
That’s where Conti Moore Law, PLLC can help. Our Orlando LGBT divorce lawyers have more than 50 years of combined experience and have helped countless families work through this life-changing process. We’ll be your fiercest advocate and strongest supporter. Trust that we’ll work with you every step of the way and help you work toward the results you want to see.
We offer a free case evaluation, so please give our law office in Orlando, Florida a call to schedule yours today.
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