While many same-sex couples are fighting for marriage rights, some are also seeking the rights to a proper divorce. This fight is not as widely noticed as the struggle for same-sex marriage equality, but it is definitely apparent. One of the major issues that often comes up in same-sex custody matters is the matter of parental rights itself. This makes a divorce instantly complicated — not because of the emotional and financial tension that a divorce creates, but due to something more fundamental: the laws surrounding the matter.
Two upcoming cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court will examine two laws pertinent to same-sex marriage and divorce. Decisions on these matters may allow same-sex couples in Ohio — and elsewhere — to better understand the legal situations of marriage and divorce and how the future will shape them. According to reports, the Supreme Court will review Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.
Proposition 8 was a law voted on and passed by the people of California that made same-sex marriage illegal. DOMA is a piece of federal legislation that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996. It states that the federal government will only recognize a marriage between a woman and a man, thus snubbing any same-sex couples and barring them from any federal benefits.
Both will be challenged in the Supreme Court and many people are holding their breath in anticipation of the decisions regarding the cases. Though not expected to release a ruling until June, the Supreme Court may provide same-sex couples with rights to both marriage and divorce. Many same-sex couples have fought long and hard for these rights, and have been in situations where these rights would have been extremely helpful. A number of publicized custody battles have erupted between same-sex couples. In order to properly navigate this complicated legal situation, many suggest hiring an attorney.
Source: Creative Time Reports, “DOMA & Prop 8: Same-Sex Couples Keep Their Ring Fingers Crossed,” Liz Feldman, March 18, 2013