Same sex couple who were married in Massachusetts, moved to Florida, and separated. They utilized the collaborative family law process to form a united front and come to a full marital settlement agreement. They asked the circuit court to grant a divorce and ratify their settlement agreement. This was the first same-sex dissolution of marriage matter in Florida to challenge Florida's Defense of Marriage Act and Constitutional Amendment banning recognition of same-sex marriage.
The trial court dismissed their petition for divorce, and they appealed to the Second District Court of Appeals. Florida Attorney General Pamela Bondi intervened on behalf of the State, and Amici Briefs have been filed by the City of Tampa, City of St. Petersburg, City of Orlando, City of Miami Beach, City of Wilton Manors, Village of Biscayne Park, Broward County, Florida Bar Family Law Section, and Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
The case briefly went up to the Florida Supreme Court, which sent it back to the Second District Court of Appeals. The Second DCA ultimately ruled that the women should be permitted to divorce.
Nelson and Nelson
Divorce and separation
Sep 20, 2013
Parties reached a full agreement via collaborative process and were divorced, becoming the first pro bono collaborative divorce case completed in Florida.
The first pro bono collaborative divorce ever completed in the state of Florida.