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As with any area of law that is relatively new, there are legal challenges to overcome. Because same-sex marriage was just recognized in August, 2013 as legal in Rhode Island, case law regarding same-sex divorce is still in the pioneering stages. In many respects, the legal process for same-sex divorce should be the same as traditional divorce, but you may encounter some unique legal barriers to address with your attorney. At Kirshenbaum Law Associates, our firm has more than 100 years of combined experience and you can rely on our knowledge and skills acquired from dealing with many different types of family law and divorce situations.
Residency requirement to file for divorce in Rhode Island is one year prior to filing. You can file in the county where you reside or where your spouse resides, if your spouse also meets the one year residency requirement. This means that at least one spouse in an out-of-state married same-sex couple must move to and live in Rhode Island for a year before being able to obtain a Rhode Island divorce.
A same-sex couple married in Rhode Island who moves to another state that does not recognize same-sex marriages typically cannot obtain a divorce in that state, despite the fact that Rhode Island performed and recognized their marriage as legal. For example, according to the Attorney General of Texas, Texas does not recognize same-sex marriages and therefore couples do not qualify for divorce because Texas does not consider them married. However, the Texas Supreme Court recently announced that it is deliberating whether Texas can grant divorces to same-sex couples married in other states. Current case law is obviously in flux and time will tell whether it changes and your ability to divorce depends on the state.
As of September, 2013, thirteen states recognize and/or perform same-sex marriages and they include: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia. You can generally obtain a divorce in any state that recognizes same-sex marriages after you meet the residency requirements.
At Kirshenbaum Law Associates, our attorneys are sensitive to our clients’ needs and provide strong advocacy along with compassionate legal guidance. Clients benefit from our extensive legal experience and appreciate our service oriented approach. To discuss your legal concerns with a lawyer at Kirshenbaum Law Associates, Inc. today, contact us online or call 401-437-5169.
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