It’s been a busy summer for the legal world of same-sex marriage and divorce. An increasing number of federal courts are tossing out the bans on same-sex marriage, and the federal appellate courts are generally affirming these decisions. In the meantime, the marriages in these litigated states are on hold – with the inevitable problem of what happens to those who got married after the court decisions, and before the courts put the marriages on hold. Most observers believe that the United States Supreme Court will take up the issue of the marriage bans, perhaps quite soon. If that happens there will be a decision by next summer that will settle the issue of the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans nationwide – and hopefully the outcome will be a positive one.
But the biggest problems still involve those who live in non-recognition states. For the most part, couples the marry in non-recognition states are receiving federal benefits, but not state benefits. And, should they break up prior to the resolution of the legal issues, it’s not clear whether they will have access to a judicial dissolution process. Along the way, these uncertainties make it hard for these couples to plan. It’s not clear whether a pre-marital agreement will be valid, and if so, whether it should be done in the state where they marry or the state in which they live.
One example of this problem is what happened in Florida recently.
Similar problems are arising in Texas – with the Texas Supreme Court poised to make a decision on this issue very soon.
Finally, we have new editions out of both of my books — Making It Legal, and the Legal Guide for Lesbian & Gay Couples. Check them out!