The Latest On Same-Sex Marriage in Florida
As of today, Florida became the 36th state to legalize same-sex marriages. While this may be a happy day for many, this also leads to a number of inevitable consequences;
- Estate planning
Now that same-sex marriages are legal, there will also be same-sex divorces. There can be a number of pitfalls that heterosexual divorces don’t encounter, such as custody issues if only one partner is the biological parent of the child, and equitable distribution of assets based on the length of the marriage (since the right to marry is recent, the length of the marriage will be short as well.)
In the area of estate planning, same-sex partners now can (and should) consider and utilize all of the planning tools previously available to heterosexual partners. In addition, same-sex widows and widowers can now take advantage of the elective share.
Adoptions is still in a bit of a gray area; Florida Statute 63.042(3) states that “No person eligible to adopt under this statute may adopt if that person is a homosexual.” While that was overruled by the 3rd District Court of Appeal in 2010, the law is still on the books. In addition, we haven’t seen yet how the court system will treat step-parent adoptions in same-sex marriages.
Areas of Practice
Meet the Attorney
Christopher Whitney grew up in Tampa, Florida. He was dual-enrolled in college while in his final year of high school, and attended the University of South Florida, where