Legal Challenges Same Sex Couples Can Face

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Although same sex marriage is now legal throughout the United States and same sex couples have all the same rights as heterosexual couples, society changes more slowly than the laws that govern it. As an individual and parent in a same sex relationship, you might face certain biases when working with the court system. If you married your partner after years or decades together, you might also face challenges related to your marital property and your children’s legal parentage.

Take a look at some of the legal challenges same sex couples and parents face. Understand that when you are facing one or more of them, an experienced family lawyer can work with you to protect your rights and promote your interests.

Determining Marital Assets

Most property obtained during a marriage is marital property, which means it is jointly owned by both parties. Property obtained before the couple married is considered separate property. When a couple divorces, this is an important distinction because only marital property is subject to division between the partners.

Separate assets that changed in value during a couple’s marriage due to their efforts paying them off and improving them can become what is known as commingled assets, assets whose value is partially marital property and partially separate property. Homes, vehicles, and other assets owned before you were married – assets you and your partner both used – may be deemed commingled property and divided in your divorce.

Establishing Legal Parentage of their Children

Until recently, Florida did not include both parents’ names on the birth certificates of married same sex couples’ children. This put many parents and their children in a legally precarious position where the parents were not actually their children’s legal parents, leaving them without important parental rights like the right to seek parenting time in the event of a divorce and the right to claim the children as dependents on their tax returns.

Today, this is no longer the case and the state amended all affected birth certificates for free. If you did not have your children’s birth certificates amended, take time to establish your legal parentage now.

Bias in the Courtroom

In addition to these legal difficulties, same sex couples can also face personal biases from judges that result in inappropriate and unfair rulings. When you feel a judge ruled in bad faith, you can challenge the decision and potentially have it overruled through the appeals process.

Work with an Experienced Tampa Family Lawyer

When you are facing legal difficulties regarding your divorce or care for your children, work with an experienced Tampa family lawyer who understands the specific challenges same sex couples face. Although your marriage is legally no different from heterosexual marriages, the reality is that you can face certain difficulties that heterosexual couples are less likely to face. To talk more about your case and start working on your legal strategy with us, contact Bubley & Bubley, P.A. today to set up your initial consultation in our office.

Resources:

leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0061/Sections/0061.075.html

miamiherald.com/news/local/community/gay-south-florida/article125929324.html

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