The LGBT community fought long and hard to be given the right to get married and in most places they emerged successful. A lot of people forgot at the time that these marriages were not immune to problems faced by straight couples in their marriages. The legislation or the lack of it rather, regarding same sex marriages is still in its infancy stages.
Marriage did not work out
This does not mean that same sex couples are going to wait until the laws are crystal clear to start arguing and legally separating. One such couple is the Shaws, Lynn Shaw and Mariama Changamire Shaw. They wed in Massachusetts and were convinced they were each other’s soul mates. However, the reality and difficulties involved in sustaining a long term relationship hit the Shaws hard and they were no longer able to stand each other, according to a Pinknews.co.uk report.
Same sex couple granted divorce after Court of Appeals overturns lower court ruling
After their relationship disintegrated, Lynn and Mariama decided, like how any straight couple would, to get divorced and move on with their lives. However, they soon realized the uniqueness of their case and their divorce attorneys made it very clear that them getting divorced was not going to be a walk in the park.
The couple first applied for divorce at a Hillsborough Circuit Court. The court responded by flatly declining to grant the couple a divorce by citing that the state did not even recognize their marriage and would therefore not be able to dissolve a marriage that didn’t technically exist. The Shaw’s hadn’t asked for much from the court. They had settled all property, support, and alimony issues through mediation and was simply applying for a divorce certificate.
Recently though, the 2nd District Court of Appeals granted the Shaw’s a divorce certificate despite being advised by Pam Bondi, State Attorney General, to await conclusive ruling from the US Supreme Court regarding same-sex marriages and divorces.
Florida divorce laws in need of revision
The state of Florida on average has to deal with 230 divorce cases per day. However, the current legislation restricts the streamlining of the procedures, according to divorce attorneys. Judges can either wrap up cases quickly or make a fair and unbiased ruling but is it very difficult to do both as it takes time to determine which spouse deserves what, according to TheLedger.com.
The state law is further hampering the progress of divorce cases by attempting to apply a political quick fix clause to divorce cases. This may lead to temporarily speeding up the process and wrapping up a divorce case but it simply cannot widely judge all cases with the same principle and essentially leads to appeals and retrials and congests the judicial system further.
For instance, the law regarding alimony is very archaic and stipulates that the spouse that needs to pay the other spouse should do so until one of them passes away or the recipient remarries. In most other states in the country this would be ridiculed as they impose a complex formula to determine how long alimony should be paid for and they factor in things such as how long the couple has been married and what their financial backgrounds are.
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