Florida Bar Family Law Section Moves To File Brief In Same Sex Divorce Appeal

The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, representing over 4,000 attorneys and affiliate members, has decided to file a brief in a divorce appeal in favor of the right of same sex spouses in Florida to divorce.  The Family Law Section is joined by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (“AAML”) in what is believed to be the first same sex divorce case in Florida to challenge the state’s Defense of Marriage Act and constitutional amendment banning “gay marriage.”

As an attorney for one of the spouses – who were married in Massachusetts, moved to Florida, and filed for divorce in Hillsborough County – I welcome the support of the Family Law Section and AAML.

In their motion requesting permission to file an amicus brief, the Family Law Section and the AAML write the following:

This case involves an attempted divorce of a same-sex couple who legally married in Massachusetts but now reside in Florida.  The trial judge in the case refused to enter a divorce decree for the couple because by statute and constitutional provision Florida does not recognize same-sex marriages.  As a result of the ruling, same-sex couples validly married in other states but living in Florida do not have access to our courts for divorce or for the orderly resolution of their legal rights and obligations.  Accordingly, the requested amicus brief is being filed as a matter of family and matrimonial lawyers seeking finality and certainty in their area of practice, and to promote and protect the rights of all Floridians equally to access our court system and to rely upon the legal rights and obligations of civil marriage.

The motion notes that the Family Law Section is a voluntary organization, and that the brief is supported by the separate resources of the Family Law Section and not the mandatory membership fees paid by all members of the Florida Bar.

The parties in this case were able to resolve all of their issues and come to a full settlement agreement via the private dispute resolution process known as collaborative divorce.  In this process, each party retained attorneys who acted solely as settlement counsel and were barred from engaging in destructive litigation.  They had the help of a neutral facilitator with a mental health background to aid them in dealing with the emotional aspects of divorce and keep them focused on the future.  They also utilized the expertise of a neutral financial planner who developed options in dividing their assets and debts and created a customized solution for their finances.

The collaborative process helped the women form a united front as they asked for a dissolution of their marriage.  Though the Tampa trial judge denied their request, they are both on the same page in their Second District Court of Appeals case.

If you have questions about your Florida LGBT Family Law Rights and you would like to schedule a consultation, call The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A. at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form.


About Adam B. Cordover, Attorney-at-Law

Family Diplomacy is dedicated to helping clients restructure their families privately and respectfully. We practice exclusively in out-of-court dispute resolution, with a focus on collaborative divorce and family law, mediation, direct negotiations, and unbundled legal services. We maintain this out-of-court practice because we strongly believe that family disputes should be resolved in a private conference room, not in a hostile and public courtroom environment. This unique perspective on family law stems back to Adam B. Cordover’s experience studying International Affairs in Washington, D.C., and abroad. Adam had the rare opportunity to work closely with ambassadors and diplomats from war-torn regions around the world. He traveled around the globe, learning from diplomatic leaders as they applied dispute resolution techniques to tackle seemingly impossible conflicts. It dawned on him: If these techniques can work in the complex world of International Relations, why not Domestic Relations and Family Law? This realization lead Adam to create an exclusively out-of-court practice and to bring a more peacemaking approach to family law. In his previous role as a litigation attorney, Adam witnessed parties experience the negative emotional and financial effects that long, drawn out divorce battles can have on families. As a result, Adam has become a strong proponent of the Collaborative Process, where a structure is put in place so that life’s hardest moments do not have to be any more difficult than necessary. A thought leader in the international collaborative law community, Adam successfully spearheaded an effort of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit to draft an administrative order safeguarding the principles of collaborative family law (just the fourth such administrative order in Florida). Adam has been featured in or interviewed about collaborative practice by the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Business Journal, Florida Bar News, NBC, Fox 13, Bay News 9, ABC Action News, The World of Collaborative Practice Magazine, and Spirit FM 90.5. Adam regularly speaks at professional and civic organizations locally and internationally regarding the collaborative process. Adam B. Cordover is president of Next Generation Divorce, a 501(c)(3) and Florida’s largest interdisciplinary collaborative practice group with member attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties. Adam is also on the Executive Board and co-chair of the Research Committee of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida. Further, Adam is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Leadership Academy of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. You can learn more about us and our services at www.FamilyDiplomacy.com. Attorney Adam B. Cordover is admitted to the Florida Bar and the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. His office is located at 412 East Madison Street, Suite 824, Tampa, Florida 33602.
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3 Responses to Florida Bar Family Law Section Moves To File Brief In Same Sex Divorce Appeal

  1. Pingback: Florida Bar Family Law Section Moves To File Brief In Same Sex Divorce Appeal | Boyd For Congress

  2. Pingback: Florida Bar Family Law Section Moves To File Brief In Same Sex Divorce AppealRich Sexton For Congress | RichSextonForCongress

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