Same Sex Divorce Florida Law

same sex divorce FloridaSame Sex Divorce Florida – Presently, there is split of authority within the state of Florida as to whether a lesbian or gay couple married legally in another state may divorce in Florida.

The issue that has arisen is that when gay and lesbian couples legally marry in other states but live in Florida, they cannot get divorced because they are Florida residents and Florida at least for now will not permit the divorce because Florida does not recognize the marriage. This could leave a couple seeking to legally split to remain bound together with no viable option to ending the marriage.

This is because every state in the United States has residency requirements that must be met prior to obtaining a divorce. For example in Florida, you must be a resident for 6 months prior to filing for divorce. The court at a final hearing of divorce will ask to see your driver’s license to ensure you have lived here for 6 months or will ask a witness who is a Florida resident to swear under oath that you have lived in Florida for 6 months. The Florida Supreme Court may provide an answer to this conundrum in the future.

However in the meantime, gay and lesbian couples should consider getting married in states that will waive the residency requirements if the couple marries in their state. Washington D.C. is one such jurisdiction which enacted a law ( § 16-902) that waives the residency requirements for same sex couples if that same sex couple marries in Washington D.C. In addition, to the prerequisite of marrying in Washington D.C., their law also requires the couple to demonstrate that the state in which either of the couple resides does not allow same sex couples to divorce. There are other states which have enacted similar laws. Therefore, if you have not yet married and are a same sex couple seeking to marry, you should select a state to marry that will allow you to divorce regardless of your residence.