Family Law Changes Possibly On the Way After Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Ruling
At the forefront of the United States Supreme Court’s June 2015 ruling on the Obergefell v. Hodges case is the newfound right to marriage for same-sex couples, regardless of what state they currently live in. The controversy surrounding the decision erupted immediately. Did it violate states’ rights and religious freedoms? Did it uphold liberties outlined in the Fourteenth Amendment? The debate is still going on.
But what few people are considering is how the ruling could have a large impact on family law as a whole.
Understanding the Changes
More noticeable than any other side-effects of the ruling, same-sex marriage legalization also ushered in the right for same-sex couples to divorce in any state. Although it can be seen as a bittersweet victory for the LGBTQ community, it is a victory all the same. Previously, same-sex couples that got married in a state that recognized their union, such as California, but then moved to a state that did not, like Texas, were effectively caught in that marriage. State boundaries would disallow them from filing for divorce. If they wanted to dissolve their marriage, they would have to move back to a state that recognized the legality of their union and then live there for six months, or even up to two years.
Other family law matters, also usually tied to divorce, are facing possible changes as well. Child custody rights and child support payments, in particular, may be going back under the microscope for reevaluation. Traditionally, the mother in a relationship would be seen with an unspoken but accepted bias in regards to disputes involving children. However, now that same-sex couples can marry and divorce as they please, lawmakers will need to address just what defines a “mother” after all.
Attorney Catherine W. Real understands that the sudden and upcoming changes in marriage, divorce, and family law can be more than a little confusing. If you are dealing with a family law matter related to same-sex marriage or divorce, get the help and legal guidance you need. Contact Catherine W. Real, P.A. today if you would like more information.