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Applying Divorce Law to Same-Sex Marriages

Posted on in Family Law

same-sex marriageWith the legality of same sex-marriages changing in many states across the country, legal issues involving the status change are sure to arise. Since this is a relatively new social change in society, it may take a while for the law to catch up and apply appropriately to many situations involving same-sex marriages. A recent article discussed the fact that divorce laws in many states have yet to keep up with the changing definition of marriage that is being accepted in many states.

Different Laws in Different States

One common problem that arises for same-sex couples who decide to marry presents itself where the couple has a marriage ceremony in a state that legally recognizes same-sex marriage, but reside in another state, where they may later seek to divorce. An issue comes up if the state in which the couple seeks a divorce does not recognize same-sex marriage to begin with. Cases like this can potentially present many legal obstacles. If the state in which the couple lives does not recognize same-sex marriage, they would most likely lack any jurisdiction to void the marriage, something many judges in such states are reportedly deciding.

Same-sex couples who are pursuing a divorce in a state which does not recognize same sex marriage find themselves in a frustrating position. They often have to simply wait for decisions and results as they take their case through the court system and exhaust appeals. Couples who have children usually find this situation particularly difficult.

Other Issues

The potential issues faced by same-sex couples who wish to divorce do not end with the above mentioned scenario. Despite the fact that 19 states, including Illinois, allow same sex-marriage, many divorce laws laws have been slow to keep up with the changing laws regarding marriage. In many instances, this has resulted in contradictions in the relevant laws that may not be completely resolved for some time.

Legal professionals are following this situation closely, taking cues from judicial decisions and legislative responses. Many are calling for a national reform to resolve divorce issues that same-sex couples are continuing to face. Some states, including Illinois, have decided to relax residency requirements that must be met in order for same-sex couples to establish jurisdiction in a divorce case. However, other issues that are likely to come up within the context of the case, including child custody, support, and visitation, remain unaddressed.

Divorce Attorney

If you are seeking divorce advice in any type of case, please do not hesitate to contact the experienced Wheaton family law attorneys at the Davi Law Group, LLC. We have offices located in Chicago, Wheaton, and Warrenville. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your matter.
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