In the debate over the legalities of same-sex marriage, there are seemingly few that stand a neutral ground.  With such fervent debate about whether same-sex couples should be allowed to get married, it’s interesting to consider what should happen to those same-sex couples who have been married, but now seek a divorce.

Currently, there are two ways to successfully have a same-sex marriage.  Either you marry in a state that recognizes same-sex marriages, or you got married during a time when same-sex marriages were allowed in a state.  But what happens when that marriage goes wrong?

Same-Sex Couples Divorce Issues

There’s an easy solution when a same-sex couple seeks to divorce in a state the issued the marriage certificate: file a divorce petition.  This process is similar for most people and shouldn’t ruffle any feathers.  But what about same-sex couples who were married out of state, can the court undo the marriage if the state itself doesn’t recognize the marriage?

The courts are currently split on the issue.  In Texas, the courts have said that they are powerless to grant a divorce to a same-sex couple because it would require the state to recognize same-sex marriages (it currently doesn’t).  However, Wyoming’s supreme court has allowed a same-sex couple to obtain a divorce.  The court made sure to state that this ruling did not apply to the recognition of same-sex marriages from another state or country.  In order to make the legalities of the issue fit the particular circumstance, the court examined this marriage like a common-law marriage that, despite it being invalid in Wyoming, the court would recognize these marriages for limited purposes.

While many in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have celebrated this narrow decision, some in Wyoming have taken a less favorable view of this decision. 13 legislators wanted to intervene in this divorce lawsuit, but the court denied their claim.  Currently, the legislature is trying to push through a constitutional amendment regarding the definition of marriage, but in Wyoming it will take a two-thirds vote.

What do you think?  Should a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage be able to grant a divorce?

 

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https://blog.lawinfo.com/2011/06/07/should-a-state-court-that-doesn%E2%80%99t-recognize-same-sex-marriage-be-able-to-grant-divorce
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