Are same-sex divorces different?

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2022 | Florida Family Law

Marriages are complicated, regardless of whether it is a same-sex or opposite-sex couple. But, now that marriage and divorce equality are back in the headlines, same-sex couples may wonder whether their marriage process is different.

Florida law

As of right now, marriage and divorce equality are guaranteed and mandated by the federal government. And, Florida has recognized this since the beginning of 2015. However, there are still a state constitutional amendment and laws on the books that make it illegal. As such, if the Supreme Court should ever overturn their 2014 decision that mandated marriage and divorce equality, those laws may be enforced again.

Property division

For now, though, Palm Beach, Florida, marriage and divorce equality are the law in Florida. This means that the law applies the same for same-sex and opposite-sex divorcees. But, due to the nature and longevity of same-sex couples and the recency of marriage equality, the property division process can be a lot different in practice.

This is because the process splits the marital estate, which is just those assets accumulated during the marriage itself, not before. This means that for couples who have lived together for years or decades prior to marriage, the property division process can be extremely litigious and contentious. For same-sex marriages, this is more often the case than Jupiter opposite-sex marriages.


Similarly, child support and custody can be just as contentious as the law and many family court judges treat biology as the primary driver of child custody. This can mean that same-sex spouses are not awarded joint or 50-50 custody because one the spouses has a biological connection or birthed the child.

You do not have to let this be contentious

Luckily, there are legal instruments, like prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, co-habitation agreements, etc., that can solve these issues now, before the couple becomes contentious. A random Melbourne, Florida, judge can hardly be expected to know what was in your minds now, when things are good.