Same Sex Marriage “On Hold” in California
By: Cristin M. Lowe
Both proponents and opponents of Prop 8 are holding their breaths until December 6, 2010, the date the Ninth Circuit begins to hear oral arguments on whether or not the California referendum that barred same-sex marriage is discriminatory and therefore unconstitutional.
In the meantime, the current question that comes to mind is: what about the 18,000+ same-sex couples who DID marry during that brief six-month window in 2008? The good news is that they are all legal marriages, recognized and completely valid. This means that all the rules of marriage apply, including divorce.
While some people might think this is the “bad news” half of the fact that same-sex marriages are held to the same standards as heterosexual marriages, from a legal perspective, this is quite possibly the most important benefit to marriage. Although family law cases have the reputation of being somewhat notoriously unpredictable, there is a certain comfort in being able to rely on a long-established process for dividing property, establishing custody and visitation rights, apportioning debts, and resolving support issues.
Divorce is never an easy process, no matter how amicable or uncontested, and whether or not it is for a same-sex marriage or heterosexual marriage, it is imperative that anybody contemplating or currently going through a divorce to seek out expert legal advice and assistance.