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Previously-denied gay divorce is granted in Florida

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a historic decision that makes same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states, including Florida. While same-sex marriage became legal in Florida in January, the case remained on appeal since then. However, the Supreme Court’s decision verifies the ruling.

What that means is that same-sex couples can now marry and divorce in Florida, just like opposite-sex couples. It also means that the lesbian couple from Tampa -- whose case has been waiting on appeal -- can now officially move on after filing for divorce in the state more than a year ago.

The couple’s May 2014 uncontested divorce filing was dismissed by a Hillsborough circuit judge on the grounds that Florida law did not recognize the women’s marriage in the first place. But the judge let the parties’ attorneys know shortly after the Supreme Court’s decision that she was vacating her ruling, and their divorce was granted earlier this week.

One of the parties and her lawyer said that they were “grateful” that the divorce was finally granted, though “justice delayed is justice denied.” The other party, through her attorney, said that she has suffered unnecessarily because of the delay in the case and stressed the importance of “resolution and closure” in family law cases.

The good news is that no other couples should have to wait in limbo like this to have a divorce granted before they can move on with their lives. As one of the women involved in the Hillsborough pointed out, closure is so important when it comes to marriage and divorce.

If you are ready to move on from a marriage and seek the closure offered by a legal divorce, talk to a family law attorney in your area. Whether you are gay or straight, this is your right.

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