GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) — The recent Supreme Court decision on marriage equality now allows same sex couples to wed. What many people do not know is that it also allows them to divorce, which has been a troubling issue for many of the couples that have married and then decided to call it quits. For couples who chose to travel to the states that passed marriage equality laws in order to tie the knot it became an issue because there are often residency requirements to divorce, but not to marry.
It created a dilemma for those couples who later wished to untie the marriage knot. They could not marry or divorce in the state where they lived and could not divorce in the state they married in unless they fulfilled a residency requirement that could be six months or more. What was one to do? The only options were to separate and stay married or move to a state that recognized same sex marriage and live there until the residency requirement was fulfilled and then file for divorce.
The new marriage equality ruling now makes it legal to not only marry in all states, but also to divorce which alleviated the above scenario and gave relief to those couples that were caught in the no-man’s land of differing laws.
With the Supreme Court’s ruling for marriage equality came new issues that the Courts will have to work out over the next few years. Custody issues involving children who may have DNA of one of the parents, or neither, and gender issues of who is the major caretaker (traditionally the court looks to the mother as the major caretaker) are two such issues.
Where couples have been married and now reside in states that did not formerly recognize their union, property division issues may arise as the court often looks at the length of a marriage as a deciding factor. These are some of the things that will challenge the courts as same sex couples exercise their right to divorce.
Nothing herein constitutes a legal opinion