Domestic Partners' Rights in Florida
Winter Park Family Lawyer for Non-Married & Same-Sex Couples
Article I, §27 of the Florida Constitution limits the definition of marriage to one man and one woman. While Florida does not legally recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples, they can still enter into a contract relationship as "domestic partners" - a category that also includes couples who are heterosexual but who are not married. By documenting their relationship, gay and lesbian couples can enjoy many of the same legal benefits available to opposite-sex couples.
It is also wise to use other legal forms and documents to solidify and protect a relationship that is not recognized officially by the state. For example, you can use estate planning to leave your property to your domestic partner. If you or your partner does not leave behind a will, in the event of a death, the property will not automatically go to the surviving domestic partner. It is important to protect yourself legally. In addition, you can opt to execute a pre-need guardianship designation to ensure that your partner is able to make life or death decisions on your behalf should you become somehow incapacitated.
Entering Into a Domestic Partnership
In the state of Florida, you can enter into a domestic partnership with any other Florida resident, provided that you both meet certain criteria.
Requirements for entering into a domestic partnership:
- Both parties must be 18 at the time of entering into the contract
- Neither individual can be married or already in a partnership with another
- The parties are not blood related
- Both individuals will be the sole domestic partner of the other
- Neither party has been in a domestic partnership within the last year
- The parties will share the primary residence
With the help of an attorney, you can be sure that your contract of domestic partnership is legal, and that you enjoy the many benefits of this contract. Richard A. Heller, P.A. is a Winter Park divorce and family law firm that has been serving local residents since 1990, and we are here to help you achieve the results that you need for your future.
Legal Separation for Domestic Partnerships
If you and your domestic partner decide to end your relationship, there will be legal complications not unlike those of a divorce - such as property division and child custody. It is important to retain a trusted family lawyer in Winter Park with knowledge of domestic partnership laws and experience dealing with confusing issues such as the separation of property, parental rights, and visitation time schedules. When you face a new life change, call Richard A. Heller, P.A. for the advocacy and support you need to start fresh.
Experienced & Proven Representation in Central Florida
At Richard A. Heller, P.A., our lawyers have helped thousands of Florida residents resolve complicated family law disputes. We have extensive experience and understand how domestic partnership laws can legally protect your non-marital relationship. In addition, we have helped many of our clients plan their estates and draft wills to protect their property and their loved ones. With our years of dedicated family law service and our respected estate planning practice, we have the ability to help you safeguard your investments.
Our firm is prepared to represent you in this ever-changing area of family law. Whether you are need legal guidance as you and your partner go through the process of separation or you want to protect your relationship legally and have questions about domestic partnership contracts or other avenues for safeguarding your future, contact our law office today to speak to an Winter Park family lawyer who can help at (407) 501-4052.
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