Lawyer Referral Service

LRS Blog

Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Jul 21, 2013

After a monumental trial years into the making, the Supreme Court ruled in late June that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional.  The US government will now recognize gay marriages and provide the same amount of benefits which married heterosexual couples have to everyone. Although DOMA’s demise was a huge victory for gay rights advocates, there is still a long way to go in regards to true equality. One of the aspects in which many may find disheartening is gay divorce. Each state’s marriage and divorce laws vary, and only a few states actually recognize homosexual marriages, making it a complicated situation.



If a couple traveled to a different state to get married then tried to go back to that state in order to obtain a divorce, it might not always work. Many states have a residency requirement, in order to obtain a divorce.  For instance, if a Phoenix couple got married in Massachusetts, they cannot get divorced in Arizona because their marriage is still considered invalid in the state. The couple can only get divorced in Massachusetts if they live there for one year, because that is the state requirement.

Although this might be a daunting aspect to engaged homosexual couples, now that DOMA has been ruled as a violation of gay rights, there may be some better news for those couples seeking divorce. Some states with gay marriage bans may be challenged and eventually overturned, since it’s now an issue of equality.

Many are hopeful that the government will rule to end all marriage bans so people will not be “love locked”  in a broken relationship.  According to a recent study, states that allow same-sex unions often have lower divorce rates than the rest of the country. Currently only 13 states permit same-sex marriage, and 10 states recognize civil unions and partnerships.