If you are in a same-sex union in Florida and want to dissolve your marriage or domestic partnership, Weiner & Weiss, LLC in Boca Raton is prepared to help. While there is no longer a substantive legal difference between the marriages of same-sex and opposite-sex couples, there are important issues that can impact child custody. And if your union is governed by the county’s domestic partnership laws rather than Florida family law, the dissolution process is different. The key to a smooth process and a favorable outcome is finding an attorney who understands the law and respects your circumstances. Our accomplished lawyers draw on 48 years of combined experience representing South Florida clients in divorce proceedings and are committed to treating you with the dignity and respect you deserve.
Even before the 2015 Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which requires states to recognize same-sex marriage, the Florida legislature never acted to recognize domestic partnerships as a legal civil union on a statewide basis. However, domestic partnership registrations in Florida sprang up county by county. Palm Beach County, where we practice, continues to register couples under the guidelines of Ordinance 2006-002.
If you formed a domestic partnership before or after Obergefell and have not gone through the marriage process, your union with your partner is governed by Ordinance 2006-002. Unfortunately, this ordinance provides little protection for partners who want to end their union. To do that, one of you need only notify the clerk and comptroller of your county by filing a Declaration of Termination of Domestic Partnership. A domestic partnership terminates automatically if one of the partners dies, marries or enters into a registered domestic partnership with someone else. If you are financially dependent upon your partner, terminating your union could put you in a bind. Whether you have the right to a property settlement or support depends on many factors, so it’s important to speak to a knowledgeable attorney in the county where you are registered.
Same-sex couples who are married have all the rights in divorce that opposite-sex couples have always enjoyed, and this includes the right to sue for alimony. Florida law recognizes the following types of spousal support:
The court examines numerous factors in determining whether alimony is necessary and appropriate. We will assert your rights whether you are seeking support or being asked to pay it.
It’s important to remember that your right to child custody or visitation depends on your status as a parent, not your marital relationship. If you and your spouse have adopted a child together and are both legal parents, you have the same rights as other parents. However, if you are married to the natural (or adoptive) parent of a child, but you have not gone through the process of adoption, your legal rights are extremely limited. A court could decide to grant visitation if it deems it to be in “the best interests of the child,” but you would have to prove a strong bond and a positive relationship exist. Even so, getting a court order in an adversarial procedure can be difficult. We can work to negotiate a child custody and visitation settlement with your spouse and present it to the court for approval, but we won’t hesitate to press your case in court when needed.
"Could not have asked for a better attorney. I dealt with an extremely difficult and tedious divorce. Gary and his team were always thorough and fully prepared. Always at the top of their game and always treated me as a top priority as they do all their clients. Recommend Gary Weiner as the attorney to handle your divorce if you need it done right!!!! " - Zachary B.,★★★★★
"Scott Weiss is always knowledgeable and reachable when I have a question. I have referred clients to him and will continue to refer clients!" - Ian S.,★★★★★
"Scott is a professional who is well-liked, collegial in a highly adversarial field. He has been mentored by an excellent lawyer and although still a younger lawyer he is fast gaining experience in complex matrimonial matters. He has moved beyond second chair to handling matters on his own. He is a pleasure to work with." - Anonymous,★★★★★
"Scott is not only a great lawyer, but he is also very involved in the community." - Anonymous,★★★★★