- Published: Thursday, 08 January 2015 23:23
Actress Jane Lynch, best known for her role on Glee, discussed during a recent interview with Huffington Post how gay marriage will inevitably lead to gay divorce. According to Lynch, a judge granted a divorce decree ending her four-year-marriage to Dr. Lara Embry. Lynch and Embry were married in Massachusetts, one of the first states to legalize gay marriage. The reason for the divorce cited in court papers was irreconcilable difference.
DC divorce lawyers understand that marriages can end for a variety of reasons. Often it is just that both spouses realize the marriage isn’t working and it is better for everyone involved to get a divorce. Unlike in past generations where people lived together for decades in an unhappy marriage, people today are willing do something to improve their lives even if that means going their separate ways.
In the District of Columbia, the law allows for a no-fault divorce. This is the same thing as a divorce based upon irreconcilable differences in other jurisdictions. However there is normally a residency requirement whereby at least one spouse in the marriage must have resided in Washington, DC for a certain length of time before filing for a divorce. The reason for this is states do want people to come there just to get a divorce. One of the reasons people would be interested in doing that is to find a jurisdiction, which has laws pertaining to division of property and spousal support that are more favorable to them than their home state.
This creates a challenge for many same-sex couples who came to Washington, DC because gay marriage is legal here, and then moved back to their home state. If a party to a same-sex marriage decides to get a divorce, and live in a state that does not recognize gay marriage, he or she will not generally be able to get a divorce in their home state.
In Washington, DC, the city council realized this may be create a hardship for those in a same-sex marriage, and have created a law to help them. If a same-sex couple was married in the District of Columbia, and live in a state that does not allow for gay divorce, the parties can still petition the DC Family Court for a divorce decree.
If you are in a same-sex marriage you entered into in DC and have moved back home, you should speak with a divorce attorney in DC who regularly handles these types of matters to see if the exception applies to your situation.
If both parties consent to a divorce, it may be a relatively painless experience. However, you should discuss any jointly-owned property and any children involved in the marriage when consulting with your attorney as these issues will need to be addressed during your same-sex divorce proceeding.
While it will likely be necessary for at least one spouse to attend a court hearing at the DC Family Court, much of the pretrial issues can be addressed via telephone and email so that you may only have to come to the District one time. This will help cut down on your travel expenses and the overall cost of the divorce.
If you are considering getting a divorce in Washington, DC, contact the Law Office of Daniel A. Gross, PLLC, for a confidential consultation by calling 202.596.5716