Supreme Court Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage Also Affects Divorce


Late in June 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of legalizing same-sex marriages across the nation, effectively dismantling 13 state bans. Immediately people from coast to coast were either cheering or jeering in response to the decision and it seemed a rift was forming between parties as they expressed their beliefs one way or the other. But what many people still have not done is looked how more than just marriage rights are changing.

Divorce and Family Law Alterations

In what could be seen as an ironic twist of fate, same-sex couples were also granted the right to divorce from their spouse, regardless of where they lived. For many people in states that chose not to recognize the validity of a same-sex union formed in another state, they were more or less trapped in their marriage. If they had wanted to dissolve it officially, they would need to move to a state that allowed same-sex marriage and then live there from anywhere between six months to two years. Now, in a bittersweet victory, they are no longer bound by state lines when it comes to divorce.

Lawmakers are also considering other aspects of family law and divorce that might need to be changed in light of the Supreme Court's ruling. Certain forms of litigation that traditionally held a gender-based bias in the past, such as child custody and fathers' rights, will now require some reevaluation in a system that completely recognizes same-sex marriages. It is also possible that mediation procedures could go differently under the new laws.

Many of the potential alterations are merely speculation this early into the ruling's history. Most politicians and legislators are focusing their efforts on how the decision affects religious freedoms and states' rights at this point instead.

If you are a member of the LGBTQ community living in Southern California and have questions about your newly founded rights, you can turn to the Martinelli Law Group for assistance. Our divorce attorney in Santa Clarita has successfully handled a wide variety of family law cases and comes highly recommended from past clients. Call 888.809.4713 right now and schedule your free case evaluation with a team that truly cares about your and your family's well-being.