The same-sex marriage debate has spread across the United States, with many states reforming laws regarding gay marriage. According to CNN, same-sex marriage is now legal in 32 states and the District of Columbia while it is still banned 12 states.
The matter is under review in the states of Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Michigan and Kentucky. Essentially, this means that courts have declared same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional, but the rulings pertaining to them have been stayed.
Pressure is mounting on officials in the state of Florida, and a number of high-profile cases and stories have kept focus on the issue in the state. It is a complex topic that involves consideration of possible divorce and child custody issues.
If you are looking for an experienced family lawyer to assist you in a specific case, give the Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb, P.A a call. We strive to ensure that each of our clients receives personalized attention in order to get the best possible outcome for their cases. If you need legal guidance for child custody, property division or another aspect of divorce, contact a Fort Myers custody lawyer at 866-949-0888 for a free consultation.
Florida Attorney General Opposes Lesbian Divorce
Advocate.com reports that Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is denying a lesbian couple of Lake Worth, Florida, the right to divorce. Bondi is fighting to preserve “traditional marriage,” and she has vowed to continue fighting against marriage equality.
Bondi filed papers in Broward County urging the court not to grant a lesbian couple’s petition for divorce. Heather Brassner and Megan Lade joined together in a civil union in Vermont back in 2002. The couple subsequently split, and Lade disappeared.
Brassner hired a private detective to track down Lade but was unsuccessful. As a result, she has been seeking to file for divorce in absentia. Brassner is filing for the divorce in order to safeguard herself from future legal action or claims to her finances.
Bondi claims that a civil union is not the same as marriage, and as such, the courts should not recognize the legality of the divorce. Bondi has been divorced twice and also had an unofficial commitment ceremony outside of the United States in 2012.
Legally Married Same-Sex Couples Unable to Divorce in Florida
At the same time, News4Jax reports that at least two couples who were legally married in other states are having trouble divorcing in Florida. Maria Mathu, one of the affected parties, claims that if a person is against gay marriage, he or she should be in favor of gay divorce. She is arguing that the U.S. Constitution requires states to honor the laws of other states, including legal documents, such as marriage certificates. These rulings affect other issues, such as child custody, and state officials are facing a difficult time balancing state and federal laws pertaining to marriage and unions.
At the Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb, we are dedicated to supporting you in your family law matters. If you are looking for a Fort Myers family or custody lawyer, give us a call at 866-949-0888 to arrange for a consultation.