Same-Sex Married Couples Divorce Rights

Same-Sex Married CouplesSame-sex married couples divorce rights. The ongoing controversy that surrounded same-sex married couples appeared to have been resolved after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergfell v. Hodges. By its ruling, the Supreme Court attempted to create some uniformity in the laws dealing with same-sex marriages across the nation because there was confusion between the various jurisdictions as to how to handle marriages that were legal in one state, but illegal in another. A dilemma was created for many same-sex married couples who were married in a state where their union was legal but then later moved to a state where it was not considered legal. One of the major issues they faced was ending the union through “divorce,” a right that was available to heterosexual couples in every state, but not available to same-sex married couples in states that did not recognize their union. For instance, what were the rights and remedies of same-sex married couples when it came to issues of property, debt, spousal support, child support, and child visitation?

Same-Sex Married Couples Rights Before Obergfell v. Hodges

Prior to the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergfell v. Hodges, same -sex married couples could not divorce in any state that did not recognize their marriage. Some states like California, resolved this issue by allowing same-sex married couples who did not live in California, but got married in California, to return there to file for divorce. In this instance, the residency requirement of six months was waived. The California Courts were still unable to create orders for the divorcing couples pertaining to issues such as property and debt distribution, spousal support, or child support and visitation that would be honored in states that did not recognize the couple’s union. See courts.ca.gov.

Same-Sex Married Couples Rights After Obergfell v. Hodges

After Obergfell v. Hodges, states that previously were not required to recognize same-sex marriages under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), were “stopped” under federal law from denying the rights of couples to divorce in their jurisdictions. The resistance to honoring these unions still exists in many jurisdictions, but it has been lessened as a result of this case.

Same-Sex Married Couples Rights – Aftermath

The matter of same-sex marriages has been settled at the federal level. It still remains to be seen how this will translate in the various state jurisdictions.

Currently unfolding in the aftermath of the controversy of divorce rights of same-sex married couples comes the case of the celebrity same-sex marriage break up between WNBA star Brittney Griner and her estranged wife Glory Johnson.

Johnson filed a petition for divorce seeking spousal support and child support for the twins she was having, that were conceived through in-vitro fertilization (IVF). It is undeniable that Griner has no biological connection with the twins. However, the Court may rule that Griner is responsible for child support if it can be proved that the twins were not fathered by the man that Johnson is now currently involved with, but were conceived through IVF while the couple were married. This issue turns on whether Johnson can prove that Griner agreed to be the legal father of Johnson’s children, or if Johnson conceived her children through another union that had nothing to do with Griner. This, and other similar issues will be new territory for the courts to address. There are currently no precedence for the courts to follow. See USAtoday.com

Getting Legal Help for Your Santa Rosa Divorce

Questions regarding the division of assets in a divorce can be complicated, especially when it comes to retirement accounts. If you have questions about divorce, Beck Law P.C. can help you. The family law attorneys at Beck Law P.C. can answer your questions and help you determine the best method of obtaining a divorce given your unique circumstances. For a free consultation regarding divorce, or any other family law question, contact Beck Law P.C. at (707) 576-7175 or visit us online. Beck Law P.C. provides legal services to Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Ukiah, Lakeport and all the rest of the communities within the three county area of Sonoma County, Mendocino County, and Lake County California.