Same-sex divorce request to test Indiana law

An Indiana man who married his same-sex partner in Massachusetts is testing his home state’s legal boundaries, having filed a divorce petition there despite the state’s refusal to recognize such unions.

Donald Schultz Lee doesn’t meet the residency requirement for a divorce in Massachusetts, so his attorney filed his petition to divorce Justin Schultz Lee with the Marion County clerk’s office in Indianapolis.

Clerk Beth White told WISH-TV that last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act is likely to “create some situations I think all around the state of Indiana that many of us are not used to handling.”

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

Gay Divorce Is Still A Huge Problem In America

The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down part of the Defense of Marriage Act means the U.S. government will recognize state-sanctioned gay marriages, but it won’t necessarily make it easier for American gays to divorce.
The high court struck down one part of DOMA — section 3, which effectively deprived gay married couples of the federal benefits straight marrieds get.

Section 2 of DOMA — which says states don’t have to recognize other states’ gay marriages — is still technically alive, and that makes divorce harder to come by for some married gays.

Say a gay couple in Georgia goes to Massachusetts for the weekend to get married. That gay couple can’t go back to Massachusetts to end their marriage because the state has residency requirements for divorces. And Georgia might not let them get a divorce because the state doesn’t recognize their gay marriage in the first place.

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

Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage hailed as historic victory

(CNN) — A deeply divided Supreme Court nudged the nation toward broad recognition of same-sex marriage on Wednesday in rulings that advocates hailed as a “joyous occasion” — but still left many questions unanswered.
Voting 5-4 in each of two decisions, justices threw out part of a law that denied hundreds of federal benefits to same-sex couples and cleared the way for gays and lesbians to once again marry in California.
At the same time, the high court declined to make a sweeping statement on the broader issue of same-sex marriage rights nationwide, rejecting California’s same-sex marriage ban but leaving intact laws banning such marriages in 35 other states. New Jersey has civil unions for same-sex couples, while New Mexico’s marriage law is gender neutral and recognizes valid marriages performed in other states.

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

Gay divorce, the next frontier

Margaret Klaw is a founding partner of Berner Klaw & Watson, a law firm in Philadelphia, and author of the forthcoming book “Keeping It Civil: The Case of the Pre-Nup and the Porsche & Other True Accounts from the Files of a Family Lawyer.”

When the Supreme Court ruled a key aspect of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional last month, it made a life-changing difference to many married same-sex couples, who will now be entitled to all the federal benefits they were previously denied. But those gay couples whose marriages aren’t working out remain in legal purgatory.

Divorce is solely the province of state law. If a couple who were wed in New York but live in Philadelphia want to be divorced, well, they can’t be. Not only is same-sex marriage prohibited in Pennsylvania — the court’s landmark ruling in United States v. Windsor does nothing to change that — but Pennsylvania’s “mini DOMA,” passed in 1996, provides that such a marriage entered into elsewhere is “void in this Commonwealth.” And if Pennsylvania doesn’t recognize you as being married, its courts have no authority to divorce you.

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

Let’s Divorce Marriage from the Government

As a kid, I remember watching a rerun of the 1952 I Love Lucy Show episode in which Lucy finds her marriage license while cleaning out a closet. She discovers, to her horror, a typo that refers to husband Ricky’s last name as Bacardi rather than Ricardo, which causes her to question the legality of her marriage.

The ensuing hijinks are the makings of sitcom legend. I’ve thought about that episode in the years in which the contentious battle over gay marriage has unfolded, as it touches on a key part of the public-policy question embodied in the Supreme Court’s two big decisions this week. How important is the approval of the state — epitomized by the marriage license — in sanctioning a marriage?

In 2013 rather than the 1950s, a technical error on a marriage certificate wouldn’t cause anyone consternation. But let’s say, for some reason or another, the government invalidated my marriage. Would it matter?

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

Justices appear hesitant as they hear arguments over same-sex marriage

Washington (CNN) — As partisans argued pointedly over same-sex marriage outside the U.S. Supreme Court, justices inside hinted at their disparate views on the hot-button issue — though it’s far from clear how they will rule.
The stakes, though, are decidedly clearer. In the case argued Tuesday and another to be heard on Wednesday, the nine justices could fundamentally alter how American law treats marriage.
On one extreme, the court could extend a constitutional right for gays and lesbians to wed in all 50 states. On the other, it could deal a major setback to the gay rights movement. And then there are options in between.
“This was a deeply divided Supreme Court, and a court that seemed almost to be groping for an answer here,” said CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Written by Bill Mears and Michael Pearson. 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