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Same-Sex Couple Divorce in a Non-Recognition State


Same-sex couples may face greater challenges when seeking a divorce due to the inconsistency of states recognizing LGBTQ+ marriages. A same-sex couple can be married, but oftentimes, in the states recognizing same-sex marriage, one spouse must be a resident of that state for at least six months in order to dissolve it. Same-sex couples living in a state that doesn’t recognize their union may not be able to divorce there.

States Where Same-Sex Couples May Divorce

In response to this problem, several jurisdictions have passed laws giving courts the jurisdiction, in some cases, over dissolution proceedings for non-resident same-sex married couples. In general, these states, all of which recognize same-sex marriages, will allow a divorce without either spouse is a resident of the state. The couple must have been married in the same state they are seeking the divorce from and must not currently live in a state that will dissolve their marriage. The states that will do this are:

  • California
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Minnesota
  • Vermont (if they also have no minor children of the marriage, have no protective orders against the other, and the parties file a stipulation that resolves all issues in the divorce)
  • Washington D.C.

It’s important to recognize that the law is constantly evolving, and if the state you are a resident in does choose to recognize same-sex marriages, you will receive the benefits of marriage there as well as the right to divorce.

Contact a Houston Divorce Law Firm For Help

If you are a same-sex couple in Houston seeking a separation or divorce, contact the attorneys at Diggs & Sadler who can discuss with you your options and protect your interests during this difficult time.

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