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Gay marriage and child custody a murky issue in Florida

Getting a divorce when there are children involved usually means a custody battle. Even when both of you want what is best for the child, things can get out of hand.

A same-sex couple in Florida has reached a plateau in their relationship. One of them decided to try and force the other to stay married by using Florida's ban on gay marriage. It didn't work.

The policy in Florida is currently to allow couples who are of the same sex to get a divorce in Florida as long as they were married in a state that allows for this type of marriage.

The two women were married in Massachusetts in 2012 and when they moved to Florida, their relationship soured. One of the two filed for divorce after they had been in Florida for a year.

The Florida Attorney General, Pam Bondi, came out in favor of the one trying to prevent the divorce, which is a surprise because she is notoriously against gay marriage.

In the initial trial, the court sided with the woman who wanted to prevent the divorce. In an appeal, the Second District Court unanimously reversed the decision.

The woman seeking to keep the marriage intact was doing so for the sake of the entire family. The best interests of the child they share was the driving force for this attempt. She is now unsure what custody arrangement will be made.

The basic issue of gay marriage was dealt a deciding nod when a temporary ban on gay marriage in Florida expired in January of 2015 and many same-sex couples were married afterward.

This decision about divorce and same-sex couples could not have come at a better time. Many divorces will occur in the near future and Florida needs to be ready.

If you are contemplating divorce, calling in an experienced attorney may be a good idea. This person has dealt with child custody issues and knows the laws of the state of Florida. Knowing your rights is an irreplaceable asset when it comes to divorce and child custody.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Fla. Marriage Laws Won't Block Lesbian Divorce," Izzy Kapnick, April. 30, 2015

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