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Could Mississippi Same-Sex Divorce Case Be Precursor to Similar Cases in Michigan?

By Jeffrey M. Salassa

Mississippi sign as viewed by a Clinton Township same-sex divorce attorney

After many years of controversy and debate, the LGBT community finally received the decision they have been seeking when, in June, the United States Supreme Court ruled that states could no longer ban same-sex couples from being married. This landmark decision will no doubt have long-lasting implications, some of which are yet to be identified. However, despite the victory for same-sex couples, there are still many unresolved issues pertaining to ancillary family matters, including LGBT divorce. While it has not been given as much attention as same-sex marriage, there are many LGBT couples who have been seeking to end their marriages in states where same-sex marriage was not previously recognized.

So how will the High Court’s ruling affect same-sex divorce? While each state could handle the situation differently, there is a case currently pending in Mississippi that could be very telling for the future of same-sex divorce, especially for those couples who were married in a state which did recognize same-sex marriage prior to the Supreme Court ruling, i.e. California, and have since moved to another state, such as Michigan, which did not previously recognize same-sex unions.

The case involves a couple seeking to have their marriage legally terminated in Mississippi and the State Attorney General has requested that the State Supreme Court grant the divorce as same-sex marriage is now recognized in Mississippi.

The couple has been seeking to end their marriage for several years, but in 2013 a Judge ruled that he could not grant the couple a divorce because the Mississippi State Constitution did not recognize their marriage as the couple had been married in California and subsequently moved to Mississippi. However, now that same-sex marriage is the law of the land, the Attorney General believes the previous ruling must be overturned. This ruling will like the color the landscape of same-sex divorce throughout the country, especially in States which once banned the institution.

It is a certainty that many complicated questions will continue to arise as the LGBT community continues to fight for equality relative to marriage, divorce and other issues involving family law. That is why regardless of the issue, the Law Offices of Iafrate & Salassa, P.C. can help you with your family law matter, including those couples in need of a same-sex divorce. For experienced and trustworthy help with all family law issues, please contact us today at (586) 263-1600 or click here to connect with us online.

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