Now that there’s same sex marriage, what about same sex divorce in Michigan?

Lansing divorce attorney sits down with WILX to discuss what, if anything, changes with same sex divorce in Michigan

Same sex marriage is legal in Michigan, which means that same sex divorce in Michigan is also permitted whether gay couples were married in the state or not.

Lansing divorce attorney Jackie Dupler recently sat down with WILX reporter Haley Nelson to discuss the implications of the changes resulting from the United State Supreme Court’s landmark Obergefell decision recognizing a constitutional right to same sex marriage.

First and foremost, now that the Obergefell ruling has been issued, the status of married gay couples living in Michigan is longer in limbo: as of June 26, 2015, same-sex couples who were legally married in the state or out of state are legally married. Their marriages are now recognized under state and federal law.

As Jackie Dupler pointed out in the interview, now that same-sex couples have the right to marry, they may now exercise their right to divorce. Issues associated with the dissolution of a marriage, including the determination of spousal support, the division of property, and the handling of the separation of a couple with substantial assets, should be treated by the courts in the same manner.

In addition, if there were children of the marriage, issues concerning child custody, parenting time, and child support will most likely be determined under current Michigan law, which is already largely gender-neutral.

Perhaps the biggest change is more procedural than anything else. Before Obergefell, married same sex couples in Michigan who decided to divorce could only do so in another state that recognized same sex marriages. However, states have residency requirements, requiring individuals to live in their state for a period of time prior to seeking a divorce. Before the legalization of gay marriage, couples would have had to move out of state, living there for the requisite period of time prior to filing for divorce. Such an impractical workaround is no longer necessary. Now that our state recognizes all valid marriages, those seeking a same sex divorce in Michigan do not have to look to other states to get one.

You can watch the entire segment (which covers same-sex divorce in Michigan, as well as some of the insurance implications resulting from the recognition of same sex marriage) below.