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Pope Francis Fast-Tracks Some Catholic Annulments

The Tampa Tribune is reporting that Pope Francis has reformed the process by which many Catholics receive annulments from the church.  The reforms take a process that oftentimes took well over and year and, in many cases, shortens that length down to 45 days.

Pope Francis Korea Haemi Castle 19 (cropped).jpg

One of the reforms does a way for the need of an exhaustive investigation when both spouses request the annulment (or neither actively opposes it).

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Florida Same-Sex Annulment

As Florida does not currently recognize same-sex marriages, some judges have interpreted the state’s ban as precluding them from granting same-sex divorces.  I am involved in a case in which two women married in Massachusetts, moved to Florida, and separated.  They utilized the interdisciplinary collaborative process to come to a full settlement agreement and filed a petition for dissolution of marriage in Tampa.  The judge ultimately denied their petition, determining that she did not have jurisdiction to dissolve that which the state does not recognize.

And we appealed.  This has become the first divorce matter in Florida to challenge Article I, Section 27 of the Florida Constitution banning recognition of same-sex marriage.

In the meantime, the gay marriage ban is still in effect.  So is there anything that same-sex spouses can do to legally end their marriage in Florida?

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