On June 26, 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, thereby making the U.S. the 21st country to legalize same-sex marriage on a nationwide level. As gay rights advocates celebrated in front of the Court and the White House, there were others who saw another benefit of the high court's ruling: divorce equality.
While New York has recognized same-sex marriage and divorce since the Marriage Equality Act was signed into law in June of 2011, and the New York City Clerk began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples the following month, many couples in other states have not enjoyed the benefit of same-sex marriage – and divorce, until last month's ruling.
Same-Sex Divorce Was Complicated
Before the ruling, 37 states recognized same-sex marriage, however, the remaining states did not. That meant that if a gay or lesbian couple lived in a state, such as Louisiana that did not recognize same-sex unions, they would have to travel to another state that legalized same-sex marriage to wed.
Since many states do not impose residency requirements to get married, getting married wasn't the issue. Matters became more complex for couples who wanted to get divorced, but their home states did not recognize their marriages.
While states often don't impose residency requirements to get married, they do however, have residency requirements to get divorced.
Residency requirements vary from state-to-state, but they can range from 3 months, to 6 months, to 2 years. This means that if a couple lives in a state that doesn't recognize their marriage, it was exceedingly difficult to get divorced, until last month's ruling.
If a couple lived in a state that same-sex marriage wasn't legal, they would either have to move to a state that did recognize their marriage, or they had to stay emotionally and financially tied to someone who they wanted to divorce. This was a real predicament for couples with job and family ties to their home states.
Divorce equality for all!
Now that same-sex marriage is recognized in all 50 states, it means that same-sex couples can at last enjoy all of the benefits afforded to heterosexual married couples, regardless of their state of residence – a joyous moment indeed!
At Jason M. Barbara & Associates, P.C., we are strong supporters of the LGBT community. If you need assistance with a same-sex divorce in Nassau County, we would be more than happy to oblige. We are the trusted source for same-sex divorce in New York. Contact us today!