Amidst all the sturm und drang over President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage, few people realize that even when gay couples are allowed to marry, getting divorced can be a whole other (and much tougher) challenge. Elizabeth Landau reports for CNN:
…Same-sex couples can currently marry in six states and the District of Columbia, and there’s no residency requirement to marry. That means that couples who live outside of those states can just pop in for a day to get married and then go home. There are also five states that allow civil unions.
But if a marriage should fall apart in a state that doesn’t recognize the couple’s legal status in the first place, that’s when things get complicated.
Some states that do not allow same-sex marriages to be performed also do not grant divorces for same-sex marriages that occurred outside of the state’s borders. It’s a tricky situation when a couple wants to dissolve their same-sex marriage, and neither spouse is a resident of a state that recognizes their marriage as legal and valid.
To satisfy the residency requirements, under these circumstances, you’d have to live in a state for six months to two years — depending on local laws — in order to get a divorce from a same-sex partner, said Susan Sommer, director of constitutional litigation at Lambda Legal…
[Full story at CNN]