Same Sex Marriage

brideFlorida has recently started recognizing same sex marriage; it is the 36th state to do so. This is now allowed as a result of a temporary injunction issued by a U.S. district court in the case of Brenner v. Scott, in which the state’s same-sex marriage ban had been found unconstitutional on August 21, 2014. The case is still being litigated” according to Wikipedia. The Orlando Sentinel did an article on Jim Brenner and Chuck Jones, where we learn of how they became the forefront of this legal battle. Interestingly, this couple was married in Canada and was fighting to have their marriage recognized in Florida; they aren’t one of the couples fighting to actually marry in Florida. This is a victory for people in all sorts of stages of the marriage journey as couples around Florida have already married or begun the process of being joined in matrimony, in addition to having a current union being recognized.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune did a feature on the activities the very first day, the log can be found here. Since the injunction is considered possibly temporary, it was a whirlwind of activity.

We wrote about some of the legal areas affected by same sex marriage last year on our blog, before the reality came to Florida. A link to this post is found here. Some of these areas include insurance, benefits, probate, health matters, and more. This link to the PBS website, though written a while back, also discusses some of the economic impacts that same sex marriage would have.

We know for sure that a person’s name can be changed on their identification because of a same-sex marriage, just like a marriage between a man and a woman. This was brought to light by a Brevard County’s couple’s lawsuit over this issue. Read more here, in the Orlando Sentinel.

In addition, the legality of same sex marriage in Florida brings about some new areas to consider in the law. How does this affect things like spousal privilege? What about contracts, credit agreements, etc? It would seem that same sex marriage would lend the same privileges, constraints, and freedoms in most cases…but it certainly opens up a whole new world as far as wording of laws and applying them to different situations. It also should allow for changes in the types of documents a same sex couple would have formerly needed to assure legal privileges—causing them to be re-drawn, destroyed, or re-evaluated. It will be interesting to see how this develops in the legal structure of Florida and America.

Unfortunately, marriages also end. The fact that same sex marriage was illegal here made it difficult for couples living here to divorce even though they had been married where it was legal. This article in the Tampa Bay Times discusses this further. This touches on some of the ideas we mentioned previously in this article, about how many laws and regulations will need to be re-evaluated, updated, struck down, etc.

SmithLaw is involved in various practice areas that can be helpful for any marriage. Probate, estate planning, and real estate are just some of those. Contact us today to see if we can help you begin a new chapter in your life. If this new law is allowing you to end a marriage, we now have a family law associate who can help with that.

Attorney Christopher D. Smith, Sr. is designated a Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyer by the American Board of Certification.  SmithLaw is located in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.  Attorney Smith concentrates on bankruptcy, civil litigation, probate, estate planning, and elder exploitation cases in the Sarasota and Bradenton area.  Call 941-202-2222 to learn more. SmithLaw offers free consultations in certain areas, including consumer bankruptcy, probate, and personal injury matters.

Image: Some rights reserved by DavyLandman

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