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Are same-sex divorces possible in Florida?

Across the nation, marriage and divorce law is in confusion when it comes to dealing with same-sex unions. Because some states allow same-sex marriage and others don't, there are a growing number of cases of individuals seeking legal recourse related to marriage when state law doesn't support filing for divorce. Individuals in Florida may wonder if same-sex divorce is possible since same-sex marriage is currently not allowed.

According to a number of past court cases, it's possible for a same-sex couple to get a legal divorce in Florida. It's also true that a number of past cases were denied based on the fact that Florida legal structure doesn't support same-sex marriage. One recent case, however, is hitting media outlets in ways previous divorce cases didn't. One reason the divorce case is making headlines is because the attorney for one of the women involved said that the couple not only wants a divorce in the state, but they also want to overturn the state's ban on same-sex marriages.

According to reports, the couple was married in another state in 2010. They moved to Florida in 2011 for employment reasons. In Oct. 2013, the couple decided to split up, but they found their options for a divorce were limited. According to reports, the couple could not seek a divorce in the other state unless one of them lived in that state for at least a year prior to filing. At that time, they decided to file in Florida.

This certainly isn't the first same-sex couple seeking a divorce in a state that doesn't recognize gay marriage. In another state, two couples brought cases all the way to the state's Supreme Court. In that instance, the court decided that same-sex divorces could be granted despite a state ban on same-sex marriage. In the meantime, any couple who is considering divorce -- whether same-sex or not -- should work to understand what legal options are available in their state.

Source: Miami New Times, "A Lesbian Divorce Could Challenge Florida's Gay Marriage Ban" Kyle Munzenrieder, Mar. 25, 2014

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