I have with me my three minor children. At the time of my and my husband's break-up (September 2012) he had just had a DUI and he was not capable of caring for them in many ways part of which was he was working out of town and staying in a motel on the East coast almost all week. I know FL is a no-fault state for divorce but how are recent rulings being made regarding custody in cases where a woman leaves her husband for another woman? I'm concerned about losing some rights regarding my children
Family Law Attorney
The fact that you've left your husband for another woman should not affect the amount of time the judge gives you with your children. Lesbian relationships are irrelevant to "custody" decisions under Florida law.
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Family Law Attorney
So long as you are providing appropriately for your children and have them in a safe and healthy environment, you should be fine. There are some instances where there is a judge who may be particularly uncomfortable or prejudiced, but that is not the law in Florida. You should speak to a family law attorney in your county and see how the judges in your county are on this issue, so that you will know if there may be any unusual problem, but in general there should not be an issue.
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The others are correct. You should analyze this according to the general family and domestic relations laws of Florida, as they relate to child support, alimony, and visitation. If you and your ex-husband can't reach an agreement on your own (or even if y'all can), you should contact an attorney who will advise you of your rights, obligations, and a reasonably likely outcome.
Best of luck
Andrew M. Bonderud, Esq. is an attorney The Bonderud Law Firm, P.A. He offers free consultations 24/7. You can reach him at 904-438-8082. Andrew's posting here is not to be considered legal advice nor does an attorney-client relationship exist.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
That is an excellent question. And while I do not know the answer to it, I can tell you that the fact that you left your Husband for another woman may or may not be relevant to the case. It might just be that you left your Husband for another person. Chapter 61, Florida Statutes requires the courts to look at a vast number of criteria when deciding major issues like parenting plans, time-sharing and parental responsibility. These are delineated in §61.13(3)(a-t). Please see the attached link. And then carefully read all of the criteria. You will see that there are several criteria that sound in morality, mental health and many other things that a Judge could look to if they were "against" same-sex marriage, etc. I think that for you, the real issue will be where your case will be heard and who are the presiding judges. Since your marriage will almost certainly be filed in the county in which your marriage was last "intact," then I would contact an experienced family law attorney who knows those judges, and potentially any prejudices that they might have, so that you could glean information. Because at the end of the day, there will only be that one judge who tries your case. And even if you locate a "case" or two indicating that same-sex marriage is not to be viewed negatively, you will never really know where your judge made his or her decision along your pattern of facts. Some judges might just be old-fashioned and consider the affair/leaving your husband to be immoral such that the issue of whether it's a man or a woman does not matter much at all. I counsel all of my clients that are going through divorce to not engage in any new relationships until the divorce is finalized; there's just too much at risk. And of course, about 50% of the time they follow that advice. Given the large number of things that the court is required to consider (see below) in adjudicating your divorce, I think that it will be hard for people to get a good read on where the law stands on issues such as same sex marriage. Unless the judge were to be lobbied hard with negative evidence (if it exists) about the effects of same-sex marriage upon minor children. And then the judge would typically have to make certain findings of fact and conclude in his Order that same sex lifestyles were bad for children. Given the growing acceptance of same sex marriage, I doubt that any judge would stick their neck out very far in attacking same sex marriage absent compelling evidence, etc. Good luck.
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5 lawyers agree
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
If you are concerned contact some LGBT advocacy groups for direction .
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Family Law Attorney
I agree with Attorney Rose, and I have handled several cases regarding this very issue. The Husband always tries to make it an issue and scares the Wife with those threats but there is case law out there that prevents the Court from considering that fact in making its determination regarding timesharing rights.
B. Elaine Jones, Esq.