Fort Lauderdale LGBTQ Divorce Attorney
Passionate and Dedicated Representation in Your Same-Sex Divorce
Attorney Gary F. Celetti, Jr. is a passionate and dedicated advocate who seeks to provide spouses with assured and experienced representation. Especially when you are going through same-sex divorce in Fort Lauderdale, you will need an experienced and personable divorce attorney who will take good, attentive care of your case, whether you seek to file for simplified or traditional divorce.
Florida’s LGBTQ Divorce Laws
Recall that Florida has a legal statute specifically recognizing same-sex marriage, thus also allowing same-sex divorce. The process for filing for divorce in a same-sex marriage is the same as that for a heterosexual divorce. Particularly, same-sex couples seeking to divorce must meet the following requirements:
- either spouse must have lived in Florida for at least 6 months prior to filing for divorce;
- the petition for divorce must be filed in the county where one of the spouses currently reside; and
- the spouses must establish a legal ground for divorce.
Note that as opposed to some other states, Florida does not recognize fault-based divorce, such as separation due to adultery or cruelty. Instead, the two grounds for divorce in Florida are:
- the mental incapacity of a spouse; or
- the marriage being “irretrievably broken.”
Both of the above constitute no-fault divorce, which means no spouse is at fault for the failure of the marriage. A spouse may cite adultery or some other fault to be considered in alimony or property division proceedings, but a judge will not factor in those attributes when ruling on the divorce.
Simplified Divorce vs. Traditional Divorce
Same-sex couples in Florida have two different legal options for separation. They can either pursue a simplified dissolution or a traditional dissolution. A simplified dissolution of marriage is quicker and less complicated, and it is generally the best option for spouses who:
- mutually agree the marriage can’t be saved;
- don’t share any minor or dependent children;
- are not seeking alimony;
- have agreed to a written settlement dividing assets and debts; and
- agree to relinquish the right to a trial and appeal.
On the other hand, a traditional dissolution proceeding is lengthier and usually involves court appearances. A traditional divorce begins when a spouse files a “Petition for Dissolution of Marriage” with the court, which establishes the grounds for divorce and what the filing spouse seeks in terms of property division, alimony, child custody, and child support. After filing the petition, the spouse must “serve” a copy to the other spouse, who must file an “Answer to the Petition” or simply agree to the terms set forth. Spouses can discuss between themselves a settlement either on their own or with the help of a mediator. If they cannot reach a final agreement in their discussion, however, they will have to go to trial for a judge to make the final decision.
It is best to consult an experienced LGBTQ divorce lawyer to determine whether it is in your best interests to pursue a simplified divorce or a traditional divorce. This will largely depend on what terms you seek to negotiate upon separation, but Attorney Gary F. Celetti, Jr. can better help you evaluate your options.
Contact GFC Law Today to Get Started
If you seek to file for same-sex divorce in Florida, do not hesitate to consult an experienced attorney for legal guidance. The requirements for filing for divorce are the same for same-sex marriages and heterosexual marriages, but the process can be nuanced, depending on what terms you seek to settle with your spouse upon separation. GFC Law has years of experience walking spouses through divorce in Fort Lauderdale, and the firm can provide you knowledgeable and informed guidance as you petition for divorce from your partner.