There has been a lot of change in terms of what are considered legal and valid marriages in many states across the United States in recent years, and California is one. The recent decision by the California Supreme Court once again allows couples who are of the same sex to get married and to have those unions recognized by the state government. This is a legal and a political battle that’s been raging both in California and across the United States for years, and now that same-sex marriage is once again recognized here it brings different questions to the forefront.
One of those questions involves the technicalities and standards involved with same-sex divorce cases. This has been confusing for many people because different jurisdictions have different standards for same-sex marriages and same-sex divorces while still others do not recognize same-sex marriages in any sense. For members of the same sex who get married and then move to another state, how to proceed with a divorce is something that can lead to struggle for many reasons.
Generally speaking, same-sex marriage couples can pursue a divorce in California if they meet at least one of a few conditions. These conditions are briefly described below:
- Residents of California
As long as one spouse is a resident of California and that person has been a resident of the state for at least six months prior to filing the divorce action, the case can proceed.
- Nonresidents of California
California will also allow nonresidents of California who are looking to dissolve a same-sex marriage to do so if they meet the following two conditions:
- They got married in California; and
- Neither spouse currently lives in a jurisdiction that will legally dissolve the marriage.
Couples who are nonresidents and who meet the criteria above must file for their divorce in the same county in which they were married in order for the action to go forward.
Generally speaking, these are the only requirements and specific standards that apply to same-sex divorce cases. If people have the right to get married, they also have the legal right to pursue a divorce, and like any other marriage these are no-fault divorce cases that follow the same procedures as would be adhered to in any other divorce matter.
That also means that someone who is currently involved in a same-sex marriage and who believes their marriage needs to end needs to take immediate steps to protect their legal rights. California’s laws regarding community property and other norms apply to these cases, and people who are facing the end of a marriage need to make sure they do what’s necessary to work through this difficult process as quickly as possible.
If you are facing this reality, you should rest assured that you do have options in California if you meet certain conditions. If you’re ready to take this step, contact the San Diego same-sex divorce lawyers at the Men’s Legal Center today to schedule an initial consultation at (619) 234-3838.