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Woman wants dismissal of divorce petition for same-sex marriage

The Supreme Court in the state of Texas has stated it will evaluate whether or not it has jurisdiction on divorce cases filed by same-sex marriage couples. The action comes on the heels of similar cases filed by same-sex couples in other states that do not recognize same-sex unions.

In a case filed in Mississippi, a woman filed a claim to dismiss a divorce petition filed by her spouse. The couple had married in California, but her claim was filed on the basis that a state cannot grant a divorce if it doesn't recognize the marriage in the first place. The couple currently resides in different states. One of the spouses has requested the state recognize the marriage so she can be granted her divorce.

In states like Texas, marriages between same sex couples are prohibited and not legally recognized; therefore, couples cannot be granted a divorce.

A legal advisor for the case in Mississippi has reported the motion may be withdrawn, and the courts will decide how the couple will settle property or finances. He has emphasized that even if a divorce case is successful, it does not mean the state condones or recognizes same-sex marriages. In most cases, the clients simply want the union recognized so they can dissolve it.

While a couple can return to the state in which they were married and receive a divorce, the courts in that state may not be able to preside over other pressing matters such as property, spousal support or child custody. Since many clients tend to pursue a divorce in their state of residence, complications are commonplace, even if a divorce petition is based on serious charges of alleged adultery or inhumane treatment.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled several parts of the Defense of Marriage Act illegal, but ultimate jurisdictions take precedence in the individual states of residence. If the states do not recognize same sex marriage, they cannot recognize their dissolution.

When love has run its course, what matters may be what the state says in which you reside. For decisions following the ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act, issues surrounding divorce have become even more complicated.


Source: 
westport-news.com, "Woman asks Miss. to dismiss same-sex divorce case" HOLBROOK MOHR, Oct. 02, 2013

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