Reuters/Ipsos poll: Views on gay marriage still divided after court ruling

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the dust settled on two major Supreme Court rulings this week that advanced gay marriage, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll showed that while about a third of Americans oppose the decisions, a majority are either in favor or had no strong opinion.

Forty-three percent of those surveyed agreed or strongly agreed with the court’s decision to strike down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which limited federal recognition of marriage to that between a man and a woman. The poll of 410 people who were asked separate questions about each ruling was conducted from Wednesday, the day of the rulings, and Friday.

Written by Lawrence Hurley. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

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Special Report: Lack of a prenup imperils oil billionaire’s fortune

(Reuters) – The divorce of oil baron Harold Hamm has had its dramatic moments. Among them: allegations that Harold was unfaithful – and a heated debate over whether the court should order his wife, Sue Ann, to turn over secret video and audio recordings she made of him at home.

But the split of the Continental Resources chief executive’s fortune, worth at least $11 billion, could turn on the absence of a single document – and result in the largest divorce settlement in history.

Despite efforts by the Hamms to keep their divorce proceedings secret, Reuters has learned that the couple never signed a prenuptial agreement when they were married 25 years ago.

Such an agreement, common when one or both spouses bring substantial wealth into a marriage, would have spelled out how to divide marital assets in the event of a divorce.

Written by Joshua Schneyer, Brian Grow and Jeanine Prezioso. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Gay marriage gets big boost in two Supreme Court rulings

(Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a landmark victory for gay rights on Wednesday by forcing the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages in states where it is legal and paving the way for it in California, the most populous state.

As expected, however, the court fell short of a broader ruling endorsing a fundamental right for gay people to marry, meaning that there will be no impact in the more than 30 states that do not recognize gay marriage.

The two cases, both decided on 5-4 votes, concerned the constitutionality of a key part of a federal law, the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), that denied benefits to same-sex married couples, and a voter-approved California state law enacted in 2008, called Proposition 8, that banned gay marriage.

The court struck down Section 3 of DOMA, which limited the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman for the purposes of federal benefits, as a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.

Written by Lawrence Hurley. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com