When, back on July 21, we discussed the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling that same-sex couples have the right to marry, we mentioned that it would also give all couples the right to divorce, regardless of the spouses’ genders.
In that post, we mentioned the case of an Ohio woman who filed for divorce from her wife in 2014. A judge granted the divorce, then reversed himself when he realized that the couple involved were both women. According to The Athens Messenger, only the filer ever appeared in court. Besides the fact that he never laid eyes on her, it is not clear why the judge was unable to realize the other spouse was a woman earlier.
Regardless, once that fact came to light, the judge ruled that Ohio law did not recognize the couple’s marriage as valid, though they married in a state where same-sex marriages were recognized.
Then the Supreme Court decision came down, and the woman filed again. This time, the judge granted the divorce, on the grounds that the spouses had been separated for more than a year. Once again, the other spouse did not appear in court, though she did receive notice of the renewed divorce effort.
Soon enough, same-sex divorce will no longer make headlines in Ohio. Instead, numerous married couples of the same gender will find that their marriages cannot continue, for the same reasons that divorces have happened for decades. The issues involved — property division, child support and custody, spousal support — will be virtually identical, and same-sex spouses will need the services of a knowledgeable divorce lawyer.