The Florida Legislature has approved legislation allowing couples to jointly file for divorce in a move that’s seen as a response to Florida’s legal challenges to same-sex marriage.
The measure passed by the state House and Senate on Monday is similar to a law that passed in Arizona, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont last year.
The new legislation, which was introduced last year, gives couples the right to file for a divorce, with the option of filing jointly or individually.
It requires that a judge approve a divorce filing, and it also includes a process for filing an appeal of the ruling.
The bill also requires that the court grant the filing.
If the judge denies the filing, the court must give notice to both parties and notify them of the filing process.
If both parties fail to pay child support and court fees, the case can be referred to a mediation process.
The state Senate approved the bill in January, and the House approved it in April.
The move was hailed by gay rights groups as a first step toward equal rights for gay and lesbian couples.
The bill also gives couples greater freedom to decide whether to file separate papers, with no waiting period or pre-authorization required.
It’s unclear if the bill will be signed into law by the governor.
Rick Scott has said he won’t sign any legislation that discriminates against gays.