Don't Ask Don't Tell... Well I Am TELLING!!!

The debate of same sex couples and what "legal status" they should have is coming to a breaking point.  The article below is one reason why our country and our states need to take a hard stance on whether or not they are for or against gay marriage and/or legal unions. All I can say is THANK YOU to all of the soldiers and their families, including Marine Brandon Morgan for serving our country.

The following article is by Liz Goodwin ( 

Five months after the military's ban on openly gay service expired, a photo of a young gay Marine's homecoming kiss has gone viral. Nearly 15,000 people have liked the picture on Facebook, which was posted in a group for gay Marines on Saturday. The Marine, Brandon Morgan, posted a response on his Facebook wall according to the JoeMyGod blog. "To everyone who has responded in a positive way. My partner and I want to say thank you. Dalan, the giant in the photo, can't believe how many shares and likes we have gotten on this. We didn't do this to get famous,or something like that we did this cause after 3 deployments and four years knowing each other, we finally told each other how we felt," Morgan wrote. He responded to "haters" who criticized him for kissing in uniform. "If the Sergeants Major, Captains, Majors, and Colonels around us didn't care...then why do you care what these random people have to say?" In December, two female naval petty officers became the first same-sex couple to share the traditional first kiss on the pier when the ship returned from an 80-day deployment.



“My friends, welcome to the other side of the rainbow…”

Same Sex couples in the State of Washington will be legally recognized starting June 7, 2012. Washington is currently the 7th state in the nation to allow same sex marriage. (  No matter your thought on the topic it seems as though there will be a showdown with the Supreme Court. Advocates for same sex marriages argue that same sex couples should be treated just like everyone else. Detractors argue that the sanctity of marriage will be destroyed and marriage may not be taken seriously.

Currently, same sex marriage is legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C. The New Jersey legislature has a bill and a vote is expected sooner than later.(

Even  though the State of Florida does not allow or recognize same sex marriage, the city of Orlando has allowed a Domestic Partnership Registry. ( The Domestic Partnership Registry addresses same sex couples many rights that same sex couples are entitled to. ([2].pdf)


Domestic Violence and Divorce

DV PSA  ( Video Click on the Link )

My spouse has been physical with me

More than often I hear potential clients or my clients make the statement, “ my spouse has been physical with me but I never reported it.” As an attorney who practices family law, the incidents of domestic violence are not a rare occurrences; domestic violence is a form of abuse that is pervasive and unpredictable. If your spouse hits you, you need to report it. Sounds simple, but people always come up with reasons not to report the abuse. If your spouse hits you, statistically it will not be the last time. People who commit physical abuse towards their spouse need help.

Divorce and Kids

Sometimes people with kids are hesitant to call the cops because of the kids the couple may have together. However, this reasoning may not work well if there is a dissolution of marriage action filed. Under the best interest standard, the court will look at incidents of domestic violence when determining time-sharing and parental responsibility. Florida Statute 61.13 states

“Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, regardless of whether a prior or pending action relating to those issues has been brought. If the court accepts evidence of prior or pending actions regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, the court must specifically acknowledge in writing that such evidence was considered when evaluating the best interests of the child.”

It is important not only to contact the police if there is an issue of domestic violence but also, to document (take pictures, videotape, etc.). Remember that taking those steps are not just for your safety but for the safety and well being of your children.

Contested Divorce- We Can't Agree!!!

What is a contested divorce? In a Contested Divorce, one of the parties is a Petitioner and one of the parties is a Respondent. In a contested divorce the parties have not reached an agreement as to the division of their property, responsibility for marital debts, or issues involving the children.

What Happens?

After the proper pleadings and other documentation are filed with the court and served upon each party the court will generally send the parties to mediation. Mediation is where both parties, along with their counsels, sit down with a third party, the mediator, and try to reach an agreement. The great thing about mediation is both parties have control over the process and can make decisions they feel comfortable with.

Mediation is a Bust

If a compromise is not reached in mediation then any issues that are left unresolved will be taken in front of a judge and a determination will be made. Both parties will be able to call witnesses, experts, certified divorce analysts, and other individuals to prove their case. After all of the evidence is heard, the judge will make a decision on what needs to happen for every issue that is contested.

Marriage and Alimony

What is Alimony? Alimony/Spousal Support is where one spouse (husband or wife) financially helps the other spouse during or after a final order for a dissolution of marriage. Sometimes that assistance can take on different forms.

Different types of Alimony

Depending on the circumstances the following types of alimony may be awarded: bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, or permanent in nature. In any award of alimony, the court may order periodic payments, payments in lump sum, or both. The court may consider the adultery of either spouse or the circumstances thereof in determining the amount of alimony, if any, to be awarded.


The length of the marriage will play a vital role in whether or not a person may be eligible for alimony. In order to award alimony, there has to be a need for the alimony and the ability of the spouse to pay for the alimony.In determining a proper award of alimony or maintenance, the court shall consider all relevant economic factors, including but not limited to the following factors:

-The standard of living established during the marriage.

-The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.

-The financial resources of each party, the nonmarital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.

-When applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.

-The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, childcare, education, and career building of the other party.

-All sources of income available to either party.

-The court may consider any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.

Alimony can be something that is used to help one party get back on his/her feet and become financially stable.