There has been much media hype over the pair of cases dealing with same sex marriage that were before the U.S. Supreme Court this week. The challenge to California's "Proposition 8," the voter initiative that banned same sex marriage in that state, has garnered a majority of the attention. But here in Massachusetts, same sex marriage has been the law since 2003. The second case, challenging the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, will likely be much more consequential for a same sex couple that is living here in Massachusetts.
Same sex marriage is currently hotly debated across the country. But with Massachusetts being one of the first states to legalize same sex marriage, that controversy is largely settled in the commonwealth. Now the commonwealth is facing a more practical problem: the process of same sex divorce.
Same-sex couples have been able to legally marry in Massachusetts for quite a few years now. Even though more states have legalized same-sex marriage in recent years, there are still issues that arise for divorcing same-sex couples that heterosexual couples do not have to deal with.
The number of states where same-sex marriage is legal continues to grow. As more same-sex couples marry and have children in these states, the number of same-sex divorces will likely also increase. According to one report, a national committee is working to find solutions for legal issues which arise as a result of differences in federal and state same-sex marriage laws.
Same-sex marriage has received a great deal of attention in Massachusetts in recent years. Several court cases regarding details of laws impacting same-sex couples could be presented to the Supreme Court as early as this year. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently said she thinks it is likely the issue will be before the court soon.
In many parts of the country same-sex couples are unable to legally marry. However, after a couple does find a place to get married if they later decide to get divorced, the process can be just as challenging. A recent case in Ohio points out that differences between judges can influence whether or not a couple can untie the knot.
Legal marriage and divorce between a man and a woman has been around for many years and the law has had time to develop around the issues that present during divorce. While there is certainly a wide variety of difference in the details of each state's marriage laws, there is a consistency in the general ideals surrounding the basic foundation of the laws.