- Published: Monday, 09 February 2015 22:06
According to a recent news article from Huffington Post, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas may finally be willing to “throw in the towel” on the fight against gay marriage. The latest decision centers on a challenge to allowing same-sex marriages to proceed in Alabama.
Seven of nine United States Supreme Court justices refused to block gay marriage from becoming legal in Alabama. The only two dissenting justices were Thomas and Antonin Scalia. However in his dissenting opinion, Thomas stated the majority’s decision to allow same-sex marriage “may well be seen as a signal of the court’s intended resolution.”
In other words, when oral arguments are held in April, and a majority opinion on the merits of the case is issued this summer, Thomas is indicating there is virtually no chance there will be a ruling finding any state’s ban on same-sex marriage to be constitutional. At the present time there are 37 states, which allow same-sex marriage. If this upcoming case goes as expected, same-sex marriage will be legal across the United States.
While this will have an obvious benefit for same sex couples wishing to enter into a legal marriage, as a Washington, DC divorce lawyer, this predicted change will also provide spouses in a same-sex marriage wishing to get a divorce more options.
One of the issues, which has arisen involves couples traveling to states or the District of Columbia where gay marriage is already legal, and then returning to their home state where same-sex marriage is not recognized. If you live in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage, chances are good you will also not be able to get divorced there either. This leaves you with the unpleasant option of traveling back to the state where you got married to get a divorce. As if this was not bad enough, some states which allow non-residents to get married there, do not allow non-resident divorces. Essentially, many parties to same-sex marriages find themselves in an unhappy situation, with little options.
Fortunately, the District of Columbia, through our City Council, has realized this could create a major problem for couples who married in DC, but moved back to their home jurisdiction. While there is a residency requirement to get a divorce in DC, there is an exception to this requirement for couples in a same-sex marriage who married in DC, but cannot get a divorce in their home state.
It should be noted there is still a need for at least one spouse to come to the District of Columbia Superior Court for a hearing. However, your divorce lawyer in Washington, DC may be able to complete much of the preliminary work without your having to be physically present. This will greatly reduce the cost and hardship associated with getting a same-sex divorce in DC.
If the parties have children together, child custody and child support issues may complicate the process so you should raise these concerns with your attorney so he will be in a better position to resolve the matter.
If you are in need of a family law attorney in Washington, DC, please feel free contact the Law Offices of Daniel A. Gross, PLLC at (202) 596-5716.