Miami Legal Tips Blog

What Does Marriage Equality Mean for Divorce Laws?

marriage-equality-rights-beliefsWith the Supreme Court officially legalizing marriage equality, a number of questions have arisen about divorce laws. WOTV 4 Women explores this in a recent article titled “Marriage equality means divorce equality.”

Gail Saukas of WOTV 4 Women writes, “The new marriage equality ruling now makes it legal to not only marry in all states, but also to divorce which alleviated the above scenario and gave relief to those couples that were caught in the no-man’s land of differing laws. With the Supreme Court’s ruling for marriage equality came new issues that the Courts will have to work out over the next few years. Custody issues involving children who may have DNA of one of the parents, or neither, and gender issues of who is the major caretaker (traditionally the court looks to the mother as the major caretaker) are two such issues.”

PBS also examines the issue of divorce laws following the marriage equality ruling in a recent article titled “Is it time for a national divorce law too?” Laurence Kotlikoff of PBS writes, “Let me illustrate the world of divorce trouble in which you can land by picking the wrong state of residence. Take fictitious Joe and Sally, a 50 year-old couple who have been married since age 25. Most of their marriage was sheer bliss. But since their four kids left home, Joe and Sally’s relationship has gone off the rails. Whether its Joe’s drinking, Sally’s smoking, or a hundred other things that have gone wrong, both want out. They face a big, conflict-laden question. How much should Joe pay Sally in alimony? Sally makes $30,000 a year. Joe makes $200,000. They both intend to work through age 67 (the Social Security full retirement age). Joe has a three-times larger Social Security retirement benefit coming his way, and his 401(k) is five times Sally’s. Apart from a small checking account and house equity, Joe and Sally have no other major assets.”

If you are currently going through a divorce in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, it is important that you know all of your rights under the law. When it comes to choosing a lawyer, you should select representation that will at all times inform you of your rights and obligations with respect to a given family law situation, and likewise aggressively assert and defend those rights. At the law offices of Gilbert & Smallman, we have experience in handling both Pre-Dissolution and Post-Dissolution of Marriage matters, including child support modifications, child custody arrangements, petitions for and objections to relocation of minor child, as well as contempt and enforcement of final judgment proceedings.

During a Dissolution of Marriage proceeding in Florida, a Final Judgment generally prescribes for the equitable distribution of marital property, payment, and allocation of alimony, and if minor children are involved, child custody and child support are also determined. If a party fails to assert and properly advocate their legally conferred rights to property and parental responsibility, it can have far reaching negative effects that are felt for years. Make sure your rights are protected by choosing a lawyer that will vigorously defend your interests.

Contact the offices of Gilbert & Smallman for a low cost consultation.


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