Same-sex Marriage Law Ruling Clears the Way for Same-sex Divorces

Since 2009, same-sex couples have married and celebrated their unions in one of the 37 states that recognized gay or lesbian marriages. Anyone who marries expects the union to last. However, this is not always the case, and consequently, many same-sex couples had faced a new problem. If they moved to a state that didn’t recognize their marriage, how would they divorce? Many states have divorce residency requirements, and some requirements are up to a year of residency. Moving to a state that recognizes same-sex marriage for the purpose of obtaining a divorce is not always practical. Anyone forced to stay in an unwanted marriage can tell you how stressful that is. When trying to break up the marriage, same-sex couples face the typical legal issues of property division, alimony and in some cases child custody and support. You don’t realize how many legal protections the divorce process provides until you try to dissolve a marriage without such protections. The legal complexity was often overwhelming, and so same-sex couples stayed married and hoped for better legal times. Even when they managed to separate property, etc. the fact of marriage remained, preventing them from looking for another partner and remarrying. In June, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to recognize same-sex marriages across the nation, this changed the legal landscape for same-sex divorce. The Wall Street Journal reported about various couples obtaining divorces in Georgia and Louisiana. If your same-sex marriage isn’t working out and you’re considering divorce, consult with our attorneys at C.E. Borman & Associates. We can explain the legal process and will work diligently to make your divorce...

U.S. Supreme Court Begins Hearing Arguments about Same-Sex Marriage Issues

On April 28, 2015, the Supreme Court began hearing arguments on combined same-sex marriage cases brought before the court. According to USA Today and various media outlets, the Supreme Court is fairly divided between conservative and liberal justices, with Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy (conservative) as the most likely swing vote among the justices. Predictions are that the ruling, whichever way it goes, will be a 5-4 ruling. Some of the arguments being posed include: “…if Sue loves Joe and Tom loves Joe, Sue can marry him and Tom can’t. And the difference is based upon their different sex. Why isn’t that a straightforward question of sexual discrimination?” (Chief Justice John Roberts) “The word that keeps coming back to me in this case is ‘millennia. This definition has been with us for millennia. It’s very difficult for the court to say, ‘Oh, well, we know better.'” (Justice Anthony Kennedy) “You’re not seeking to join the institution, you’re seeking to change what the institution is.” (Chief Justice Roberts) Arguing on behalf of same-sex couples married elsewhere but living in a state that bans same-sex marriage, Douglas Hallward-Driemeier stated, “If you choose to get married in your state, just don’t move to ours. That’s the cost of federalism.” Joseph Whalen, Tennessee’s Associate Solicitor General, said his state and others that “have done nothing here but stand pat” should not have to abide by other states’ marriage laws. In debating how the ruling would lead to other socio-legislative ramifications, the liberal justices debated against the argument that allowing same-sex marriage would harm the relationships of opposite-sex couples and lead to more out-of-wedlock...

U.S. Supreme Court Scheduled to Hear Gay Marriage Ban Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court has scheduled a hearing on April 28th for two and a half hours of oral arguments based on a number of cases that challenged state bans on gay marriage. These cases were previously heard at the District Courts level. CNN reports that attorneys involved in these cases have based their appeals on a Fourteenth Amendment argument that involves two questions: Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?​ The combined cases the Supreme Court will hear include: Ohio cases — Henry v. Hodges, Oberfefell v. Hodges Michigan case — DeBoer v. Snyder Kentucky cases — Bourke v. Beshear and Love v. Beshear Tennessee case — Tanco v. Haslam In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a provision in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) based on it being a Fifth Amendment violation. The Supreme Court ruled that DOMA deprived same sex couples of many of the rights opposite sex couples have under federal laws. It ruled that DOMA violated their rights to equal protection under the Constitution. How the Supreme Court rules on these cases will likely have a far-reaching influence on all states, and hopefully will resolve the conflicting findings between many lower level courts. C.E. Borman & Associates stays up to date on laws that affect same sex marriages and works with clients in GLBT relationships to help them resolve divorce and family law matters....

Push for Federal Appeals Court to Hear a Texas Same Sex Marriage Case

A gay lesbian couple living in Texas has requested that the federal appeals court hear their case earlier rather than later. The reason is that one partner is expecting a child. The Dallas News reports that Nicole Dimetman is pregnant and her due date is March 15. She is an Austin lawyer who is working with her partner Cleopatra De Leon to overturn the Texas ban on gay marriage. The couple was married in Massachusetts five years ago. De Leon gave birth to a child a year after their marriage and to establish parental rights for Dimetman, they had to go through an expensive adoption process. Legal recognition for parental rights would help them avoid the complicated adoption process with their second child. Also, a pivotal argument in the case is that if Dimetman became incapacitated or died during childbirth, her partner would have no parental rights to the child, who would subsequently become an orphan. The complexities of parentage in same sex marriages are still subject to an emerging area of case law. Issues are even more complicated in states that don’t recognize same sex marriages. A three judge panel will hear this Texas case and also a similar Louisiana case. The central issue in the Louisiana case was a federal district judge’s ruling that allowed Louisiana to ban same-sex marriages. If you face challenges regarding marriage, parental rights, divorce, child custody or other issues, find out how a skilled family law attorney can help you. Channa E. Borman is an experienced divorce and family law attorney at C.E. Borman & Associates,  located in Bryan, Texas....