The United States Supreme Court decision issued on June 26, 2015 in Obergefell v. Hodges once and for all gives same-sex couples the right to marry in any state. The decision also requires all states to recognize those marriages lawfully performed in other jurisdictions. Many are jubilant with the decision as they can now marry in their home state. Others are simply relived because now they can seek a divorce.
In 2003, Massachusetts led the way as the first state to recognize same-sex marriages. Leading up to the latest decision, a total of 37 states and the District of Columbia allowed same-sex marriages. This means, legal marriages have been available to same-sex couples for the past 12 years in the United States, not to mention in other countries such as Canada (2005) and Spain (2005). This was great because couples could travel to any of these destinations, apply for a marriage license and voila, they were hitched! Many couples in fact did travel in search of a legal marriage and have been wed for years.
The problems started when couples traveled back their home states where the marriage was not recognized as legal. Since the marriage was not recognized, there was no option to legally dissolve the union when marital troubles started. To make matters worse, because divorce is based upon residency, same-sex couples truly found themselves wed-locked. This was true even after the federal government recognized all marriages by virtue of decision in United States v. Windsor issued on June 26, 2013.
But, now, since all states are required to recognize marriages, divorce is possible and is easily accessible in the state where you live. This is a relief to many because the decision now allows same-sex couples to make use of all of the protections of a civil and orderly dissolution available with right of divorce recognized by their now legal marriage.
If you are seeking relief from your legal marriage we can help. Contactus at VanLanduyt Greer to set up a consultation with one of our family law attorneys to discuss your divorce.
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