ABA Journal


Family Law

DOMA ruling may benefit gays seeking divorces

Jul 3, 2013, 01:23 pm CDT


You know, statistically speaking, a lot of gay and lesbian couples will eventually divorce, meaning there may be an increased demand for decent divorce attorneys. EVERYBODY WINS!

By EsqinAustin on 2013 07 03, 2:44 pm CDT

I would just like to point out that there is no requirement that any of the individuals in a same-sex couple that wishes to marry be gay.

The term "marriage" under federal law now denotes nothing more than a legally recognized association of two individuals (for now) which would otherwise be a partnership, but for the lack of a business purpose.

By Hedgehog on 2013 07 03, 2:45 pm CDT

@2: Considering how many heterosexual couples used marriage for the same purpose (legal benefits and nothing more), nothing will change.

By EsqinAustin on 2013 07 03, 2:47 pm CDT

@1 ". . . EVERYBODY WINS!"

That's quite a point you're making.

Along those same lines, increased levels of personal financial irresponsibility will increase the need for bankruptcy attorneys; more reckless driving will increase the need for personal injury attorneys; and crime sprees will cause the criminal law bar to grow and prosper. Those of us who argue for personal morality and order are working against the best interests of the ABA membership.

I guess the transcendent point here is that the legal profession benefits from societal decay and dysfunction. And I can't argue with your reasoning.

By Yankee on 2013 07 03, 3:01 pm CDT

That's a brain teaser. What is worse in the eyes of religious fundamentalists opposing gay marriage: gay marriage, or gay divorce?

By NoleLaw on 2013 07 03, 3:27 pm CDT

@5 NoleLaw: It creates a paradox that basically sends their brains into reboot mode.

By EsqinAustin on 2013 07 03, 3:28 pm CDT

@ hedgehog

Close but not entirely true. When the average partnership breaks up there is not normally a risk of one party being intitled to half of the other partner's retirement account or being ordered by a court to pay alimony until they die, for a couple of examples. Or having to get a court order to dissolve the partnership when both parties are in agreement to do so.

By Fred on 2013 07 03, 11:19 pm CDT

Not every state is a community property state and case law developed in relation to heterosexual couples will no doubt be applied to homosexual couples with regard to assets.

By Moderate Centrist Independent on 2013 07 09, 3:42 pm CDT

I have an interesting question to propose concerning the impact of homosexual marriage on divorce. Provided that the parties' become parents during the marriage, with one of the parties being a biological parent and the other party being an adopting parent, will there be a preference to award custody to the biological parent (absent fitness issues)? I know that's how it works in my state with heterosexual couples (homosexual marriage is constitutionally banned in my state). I'd just be curious if anyone else has insight into how their state would treat this situation.

By AndyRTR on 2013 07 09, 8:59 pm CDT

@AndyRTR #9 - I practice in a state that does have gay marriage, and the Supreme Court recently held that a child born in a gay or lesbian marriage is entitled to the same presumption of parenthood that is given to children of a hetero couple. So, for our state, the parents are seen just as if they were a mom and dad and the child was born during the marriage. Both moms or both dads go on the birth certificate if they are married. The presumption of "paternity" extends regardless of the gender/sex of the two parents.

I have no clue what other states are doing with this issue.

By RecentGrad on 2013 07 09, 9:10 pm CDT

"with one of the parties being a biological parent and the other party being an adopting parent"

Actually, medical science is advancing to the point where both parents can be biological parents, even if they are same sex, thanks to manipulation of the genetic material of the sperm/egg.

By Moderate Centrist Independent on 2013 07 10, 8:09 am CDT

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