The divorce process isn’t necessarily easy on any couple. However, for same-sex couples, the divorce process may present unique challenges as divorce can be difficult to obtain in many states. Any same-sex couple who came to Maryland to marry may want to make note of current laws in other states if they are planning to divorce.
Even though many states now legally recognize same-sex marriage, including Maryland, the process of divorcing is an altogether new obstacle. Some couples have explicitly come to Maryland to marry a same-sex partner but then go back to their home state where their marriage is not recognized by the state legal system. Therefore, if they seek a divorce, the state they live in typically still won’t grant one.
Even though the U.S. Government sees the marriage as lawful, if the state doesn’t, the couple might have to return to Maryland or the state they married in if they want divorced. While this may not sound difficult, it can pose challenges for jobs, housing needs, and children who are in school. There is currently one case being heard in Mississippi where a couple is seeking to divorce without having to relocate to the state they married in.
Any same-sex couple who marries in Maryland or another state can seek a divorce in Maryland. The right to a same-sex divorce in Maryland was actually granted before same-sex marriage was made legal in the state. The laws are fluid and changing fast in each state across the union. Any couple facing divorce inside or outside of Maryland may benefit from staying current as to the position of each state in this situation.
Source: abcnews.go.com, Miss. Judge Refuses to Grant Gay Couple’s Divorce, Holbrook Mohr, Dec. 2, 2013