On June 26th, 2015, the nation was stunned as the United States Supreme Court ruled
in favor of same-sex marriage legalization in all states, regardless of
previous state laws. The controversial decision came about due to a narrow
5-4 vote and years of gay right's activists pushing for the decision.
(The ruling can be viewed in full
After Judge Anthony Kennedy wrote for the justices who ruled in favor of
the new law, the four other justices who ruled against it released individual
dissents, explaining their opposition to the decision. The division may
begin with the ruling justices but it does not end there, as people across
the country immediately started to express their concern with the ruling.
Some would cite it as a violation of states' rights and others feel
it is an infringement on their religious beliefs and those of the church.
However, several independent polls from recent years suggest that around
60%, a clear majority, of Americans do approve of same-sex marriage.
Changes to Family Law
With the legalization of same-sex marriages in every corner of the United
States, other alterations of family law matters come with it. In particular,
same-sex couples can file for divorce, regardless of their state. This
comes as a massive relief to couples who were married in a state that
had it previously legalized, such as California, moved to a state that
did not, such as Texas, and then decided to dissolve their marriage. Only,
the problem was that they couldn't, not while they lived in a state
that did not recognize their union.
Other issues that lawmakers need to address are marriage rights and responsibilities
that tend to lean towards what would be considered a more traditional
marriage. For example, judges usually rule in favor of the mother during
child custody disputes, but that title is less clear in a same-sex marriage.
The same can be said when decisions must be made to uphold a father's rights.
As of now, there are no indications of massive family law changes in regards
to same-sex marriage, but nothing is set in stone. If you are in a same-sex
relationship and have questions about your newfound rights due to the
Supreme Court's ruling, please
contact Hutchinson Law right away. Our team of Jacksonville divorce and family law attorneys
can start to help you with a
no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation.