States That Allow Same-Sex Divorce

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Same-Sex Divorce Legal Issues

While the battle over same-sex marriage tends to make more headlines, the right for a same-sex couple to obtain a divorce is just as polarizing. What is most perplexing about this issue is that some states allow same-sex marriage without granting same-sex divorce.

States and Same Sex Divorce

Due to how new of a legal issue same-sex marriage is, there is not exactly a set list of states that permit same-sex couples to divorce. In fact, even states that have recently legalized same-sex marriage have likely not had to tackle divorce and the many issues that go with it. However, couples in any one of the many states where same-sex marriage is permitted should rest assured that, like the right to marry, they also have a right to divorce.

Additionally, many states that allow same-sex marriage will permit non-residents to obtain a divorce, even if their state will not. However, the requirements are highly state specific, and typically require one of the partners to be domiciled in the state, or that the couple was married in the state but now resides in a state where same-sex marriage is banned.

Some states that do not allow same-sex marriage, but have permitted same-sex divorce include:

The following are a handful of the states that do not allow same-sex marriage, and have issued conflicting opinions on how to handle same-sex divorce, or have simply not allowed it:

These states are mostly wrestling with the jurisdictional issues, meaning that because their states ban gay marriage, they lack the ability to hear a case concerning the divorce of those couples. Ohio, for example, has permitted a divorce in one instance, only to deny one days later due to the states ban on same-sex marriages. The effect of these mixed results and judges dismissing divorces has resulted in appeals, as well as other, more complicated lawsuits.

Seeking Legal Advice

The reality is that obtaining a divorce in a state where same-sex marriage is banned may be incredibly costly and difficult. It may involve filing a lawsuit against the state government challenging the ban on their marriage and divorce. The only way to effectively resolve this situation is to hire an attorney. Even in states where same-sex marriage and divorce are permitted, a family lawyer can help you ensure property and assets are split fairly between you and your partner.

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Last Modified: 06-06-2014 04:06 PM PDT

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