In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling that established same sex marriage as a right in all states, it is important to address the issue of gay divorce. Same-sex divorce is actually one of the most complex aspects of the gay rights movement yet publicly it is discussed very little. Before the ban was lifted, it was extremely difficult for gay couples to receive a divorce. Since same-sex marriage was not recognized in all states there were conflicting laws regarding its dissolution. For couples that married in one state and then moved to another where their marriage was not valid, they could not get divorced since they were not technically married there. All other states do not grant divorces to couples that are not current residents. The only real possible option was for couples to establish permanent residency in a state that supports gay marriage and file for a divorce there. However, this can be challenging and expensive and not a realistic method for some people. Therefore a lot of same-sex couples living in states with bans were left unable to end their marriages. Some individuals made the choice to enter into a domestic partnership agreement, which is a legal contractual document. This document typically addresses how mutual property should be divided in a partnership. An important aspect of same-sex divorce to consider is the custody of children. If a couple living in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage had a child through a surrogate, then one parent was considered to have no biological connection to the child. In the event of a divorce this legal technicality could keep this partner from receiving custody or visitation rights.
The latest Supreme Court ruling decided that the right to marry was extended to everyone in all areas of the country. With this new ruling gay divorce proceedings will need revising. It will take some time for the courts to update states that previously held a ban on same-sex marriage and divorce.
If you would like to speak with a family law attorney regarding same-sex divorce, contact Adkins Law. Adkins Law is located in Huntersville, North Carolina and primarily serves Mecklenburg County and the Lake Norman area.