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same sex marriage

A Victory For Same Sex Marriage From The Highest Court In The Land

men toastingIt seems the story on the validity of same sex marriage changes every day. With some states banning same sex unions, then higher courts overturning those bans, it was only a matter of time before there was word on the issue from the U.S. Supreme Court. And, the word is in.

On October 6, 2014 the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a lower court’s decision holding some state bans on same sex marriage constitutional. What this means is:

  • The states that were seeking to uphold their bans on same sex marriage will not be allowed to present their case to the Supreme Court.
  •   This ruling gives validity to requests for marriages in the states that had previously denied applications for marriage to same sex couples.


Almost immediately couples in the… Continue reading

Judge Changes His Mind On Same Sex Marriage

wedding ring on champagne glassA same sex couple, married in Vermont, has been seeking to dissolve their union in their new home state of Florida. A Broward County Judge initially ruled the State’s ban on same sex marriage unconstitutional in Heather Brassner’s request for a divorce from Megan Lade. Now, it seems the Judge has had a change of heart.

In early September the very Judge that held the same sex marriage ban unconstitutional vacated the order that made that finding. The Judge explained his decision as follows:

  • Brassner failed to comply with state law notice requirements.
  • The Judge stated Brassner was required to give notice of the request for dissolution to the State Attorney General by certified mail.
  •  A hearing to finalize the divorce has been cancelled.


The declaration that the ban is unconstitutional was the 3rd such finding in an 18 day period in… Continue reading

A Victory For Same Sex Visitation Rights

child's painted handChild custody and visitation are typically the most important issues to resolve in a divorce with kids. Finances are a close second, and are usually intermingled with issues regarding your children. This is because making sure your kids are taken care of and maintain a healthy relationship with both parents is a key goal of any family law matter. It is always best if the parents are able to enter a successful post marriage arrangement for visitation and custody, but this is not always the case. All too often the parties allow their emotions to run over and impact the kids, which may include preventing visitation in an attempt to “get back at” the ex. In the end, this type of behavior is more harmful to the children and does not allow families to move forward by taking positive steps post-divorce.

When… Continue reading

Another Florida Judge Thinks Ban On Same Sex Marriage Is Unconstitutional

women holding handsEver since the provision of the Defense of Marriage Act that denies marriage to same sex couples was struck down as unconstitutional just over a year ago, Judges all over the country have seen these types of cases on their dockets. In some of these cases, the time is drawing near for final decisions to be made. Because this is a controversial topic, stories on the matter aren’t likely to go away any time soon.

In a recent decision, a Judge in Broward County is the latest member of the bench to strike down the ban on same sex marriage:

● The issue arose in a divorce case before Judge Dale Cohen.

● Heather Brassner and Megan Lade were legally joined in Vermont in 2002.

● The couple separated in 2010.

● Brassner, a resident of Florida, sought a divorce in Broward County.… Continue reading

No Same Sex Marriage In The Keys

candy heartsThe ban on same sex marriage may have been lifted, but that doesn’t mean a lot of weddings will soon be taking place. As expected with any controversial legal issue, the United States Supreme Court has stepped in. When an appeal is filed, it can take the wind out of your sails and cause frustration for litigants who thought they had come out on the winning side of a case.

This is the instance for a Florida Keys couple seeking to marry. The story of the case include these facts:

  • Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones obtained a favorable ruling in their case to allow them to marry.
  • The same sex couple’s victory was immediately appealed by the State.

The appeal set in place an automatic hold on the couple, and any other same sex couples’ attempt to marry. Until a decision is made that… Continue reading

Defense Of Marriage Act One Year Later

wedding ringsJust over a year ago the United States Supreme Court struck down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act that prohibited federal recognition of same sex marriage for issues like health insurance, taxes and immigration. The decision stopped short of legalizing same sex marriage, but had a widespread impact nonetheless. Now, a year later there are all sorts of lawsuits involving spousal rights and application of legal principles for same sex couples.


A news story gives an account of some of the more visible cases that are likely to shape the legal landscape on this important legal issue:


● The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals recently handed down a decision striking down Utah’s ban on same sex marriage.

● Other states, such as Oklahoma, have similar cases pending.

● Virginia has a case before the 4th Circuit and… Continue reading

Can I Get A Divorce In Florida For A Same Sex Marriage?

men toastingThe picture of what is considered a “traditional” marriage has changed. With some states recognizing same sex unions, neighboring jurisdictions must decide what to do when one of those marriages is sought to be dissolved within its borders.


In a highly publicized case, a same sex couple from Massachusetts is seeking to dissolve their union in Florida. The case involves:


● The couple was married in Massachusetts in 2010

● After the marriage, the couple relocated to Tampa

● The marriage was recognized in Massachusetts, but Florida does not recognize same sex unions

● The laws of the State of Florida do not permit it to undo what it legally could not have done in the first place

● The couple has learned they must return to Massachusetts in order to obtain a divorce

● Not only must the couple return to… Continue reading