Brandon Family Law Center, LLC
813-438-7119 Local
800-769-0129 Toll Free
Contact Us for a Consultation

Tampa Family Law Blog

Same-sex divorce and parental rights

Same-sex Florida couples who are getting a divorce might run into issues surrounding child custody. Problems may arise if either person is not legally considered the child's legal parent. In Mississippi, the state Supreme Court is making a decision on a case in which a woman is requesting parental rights for the child borne by her ex-wife.

According to the 6-year-old child's biological mother, the other woman had the opportunity to assert her parental rights during the divorce process and did not. The woman's attorney says state laws that did not allow the woman to be included on the birth certificate at the time of the child's birth were unconstitutional. The woman pays child support and has visitation rights, but if the child's biological mother dies, another family could adopt the child without the woman's permission.

Retirement and divorce

Florida is a popular place for many people to retire. A thorny issue that comes up when couples are planning retirement is divorce, which can cause both partners change the plans they had made for many years. Divorce among older couples, also known as "gray divorce," is on the rise.

The impact of divorce can make life difficult after retirement. Dividing up assets as such as retirement plans, life insurance, real estate, stocks and life savings can have a devastating impact on a couple who had planned to retire together. Ending a marriage may force a person to take a different approach to retirement. Due to the costs of divorce, unexpected withdrawals from life savings and retirement accounts may be necessary.

Same-sex couples face particular challenges in divorce

Same-sex couples can run into the same types of obstacles as heterosexual marriages, and for some people in Florida, this can mean divorce. However, there are some additional complications that can arise for same-sex couples that are ending their marriages, such as the division of property and the handling parental rights and custody.

Many same-sex couples had relationships that lasted for many years prior to the legalization of marriage. This means that property division, spousal support and other issues that can be affected by the length of the marriage may be handled differently depending on the discretion of the court. Longer marriages generally carry more weight with judges when deciding on asset division and the assignment of alimony orders.

Steps for filing for a divorce

Couples in Florida who want to get a divorce may be uncertain about how to get the process started. While initiating a divorce can be a relatively simple process, filers should keep in mind that legally separating oneself from a spouse is a process that can be complicated.

Even though there are some main steps that will be a part of every divorce, filers should not expect to deal with their unique circumstances. There are many ways a divorce can be filed, with or without legal representation. There are also multiple options when it comes to how to settle the divorce, such as using mediation, litigation or a collaborative divorce process.

Several factors can indicate greater likelihood of divorce

There are a number of factors that can indicate whether a Florida couple is headed for divorce. Every couple is deals with their own situations, so statistical indications may have little value for any individual marriage. However, these risk factors can help highlight situations that may lead to the end of a marriage.

One of the factors that can indicate a higher divorce rate is the ages of the spouses when the marriage begins. Couples who marry as teens or in their mid-thirties or later have a higher divorce rate.

How will the BRS affect military divorces?

When Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act in 2016, part of the legislation included provisions to update the retirement plans service members receive.

While some members may be able to keep their current retirement system, other members may choose to opt in to the new Blended Retirement System (BRS). This plan will go into effect on January 1, 2018.

Certain factors may help push couples toward divorce

Couples in Florida and across the United States may wonder if there are certain factors that make them more likely to decide to end their marriages. Celebrity divorces may make headlines, but 22 percent of couples overall see some sort of disruption of their marriage within the first five years.

Within 20 years of marriage, over half of partnerships have been disrupted in some way; these statistics could apply to separation, divorce or widowhood. However, most couples experience marital strain and external pressures on their relationship, whether due to work, family or other life concerns. The ways in which couples deal with problems can make a major difference in whether they choose to end their marriage or are able to reconcile.

Situations that might result in a divorce

The decision to get a divorce may be a difficult one for some people in Florida. While it may appear to outsiders that a line has been crossed in a marriage, it may be more difficult for a person in that marriage to make the determination to end it. However, there are circumstances in which a person might decide divorce is necessary, and in fact, their only option.

A person may decide it is no longer possible to stay married to a partner who has a serious problem with addiction. For example, if the spouse is an alcoholic, this may become impossible to live with after he or she is arrested several times for driving under the influence, or when their use of alcohol makes them abusive. Each time, the spouse might promise to go to treatment and may do so several times. However, the change in behavior might only last a few months each time.

Are you a birth mother opting for an independent adoption?

A woman who is considering adoption for her unborn baby may have no idea how to begin the search for suitable parents. Working with an adoption agency is one way to approach the dilemma, but there are other options.

If you find yourself in this position, you might consider what is called independent adoption. With this process, many birth mothers feel they have more involvement and more choice as to who the baby's adoptive parents will be.

Brandon Family Law Center, LLC

813-438-7119 or 800-769-0129 Contact Us for a Consultation