On February 8, 2014, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee will “take the position that same-sex married couples should be eligible to file for bankruptcy jointly and that domestic support obligations should include debts such as alimony owed to a former same-sex spouse.”
Since the 2008 constitutional amendment passed, Florida law has not recognized same sex marriages. Until now, same sex couples, even those legally married in a state which recognizes same sex marriage, were not allowed to jointly file bankruptcy in Florida. The Trustees in Florida deferred to state law.
This new announcement changes how federal bankruptcy will be handled for same sex couples in Florida. While few Floridians will be affected by this policy, it could be crucially important to those who are now eligible.