Oviedo Same-Sex Divorce Attorney
At last, same-sex marriages and divorces are on equal legal footing with all other marriages and divorces. The same issues, such as alimony, are common in both kinds of divorces. Additionally, as outlined below, the procedure is the same in both kinds of divorces. Most same-sex divorces in Florida are no-fault divorces based on irreconcilable differences between the spouses.
At the Troum Law Firm, our Oviedo same-sex divorce attorneys have always been committed to the ideal of equality under the law. We do not discriminate based on status, and the law should not discriminate either. That being said, same-sex divorces have some unique aspects, particularly in financial areas, like alimony. So, we thoughtfully adjust our approach to account for these differences. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all divorce.
About two weeks after a spouse files a divorce petition, the judge usually holds a temporary hearing to set the ground rules for that particular marriage dissolution proceeding. At this early stage, not much evidence is available. So, powerful legal advocacy at this hearing is critical to a future successful resolution. Otherwise, your same-sex divorce lawyer must play catch-up for the duration of the process.
As for financial issues, most property division matters are deferred for a later time. But the judge often grants temporary alimony at this hearing. Basic evidence, like an easy-to-follow income/expense spreadsheet, is often critical.
Child custody issues are often quite thorny as well. Frequently, same-sex couples have adopted children, mostly from prior step-parent adoptions. Sometimes, this arrangement is largely informal, and the other biological parent’s legal rights have not been terminated. As a result, the judge could uproot the child altogether. That’s an outcome no parent wants.
Financial discovery can be either extremely straightforward or extremely time-consuming. Frequently, an information exchange, like recent pay stubs and tax returns, satisfies the discovery requirement.
In many other cases, however, there are telltale signs that one spouse is hiding assets from the other spouse. Intentional over-withholding is a good example. A spouse raises the withholding amount to artificially lower net income. Then, in the spring, the spouse gets this money back in the form of a tax refund. Unless discovery is exhaustive, the financial settlement might be hopelessly unfair.
Emotional discovery usually involves a social services investigation. If custody or visitation is disputed, most judges issue these orders. A social worker investigates the case and makes a determination. This determination, while not legally binding, is extremely persuasive.
Once discovery is at least substantially complete, settlement negotiations can begin in earnest. Almost all divorce cases, same-sex or different sex, settle out of court. These settlements reduce costs, hasten the outcome, and give the litigants more control over the outcome.
If the case remains unresolved late in the game, many Seminole County judges refer these matters to mediation. A neutral third party mediator, who is usually an unaffiliated Oviedo same-sex divorce lawyer, meets with both sides and helps them reach agreeable compromises in key areas. If both sides negotiate in good faith, mediation is usually successful.
Contact a Thorough Oviedo Same-Sex Divorce Lawyer
Same-sex divorces follow the same laws and procedures as all other divorces. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Oviedo, contact The Troum Law Firm, P.A. After-hours, virtual, and home visits are available.