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Same-Sex Marriage Is In State Courts Across The Country

Same-Sex Marriage Is In State Courts Across The Country

Over the past few months and especially over the past few weeks states across the nation have seen a great deal of action and activity with regard to the legalization of same-sex marriage. Since the United States Supreme Court decided United States v. Windsor 570 U.S. 13 (2013) many states have seen action taken by either their legislatures or their judiciaries to legalize same-sex marriage. In addition to this, some federal judges are in the process of moving numerous other states in this very same direction. There are currently approximately 70 marriage equality cases being considered throughout judicial systems in the United States and more district court judges may issue their own opinions which could change the laws in other states just like Judge Mary Jacobson in Mercer County Superior Court did in Garden State Equality v. Dow in September of 2013 to allow gay and lesbian couples in New Jersey to marry. Since that time many other states have followed suit. Just this week, the same-sex marriage ban which was incorporated into Oregon’s state constitution was overturned by U.S. District Judge Michael McShane, and although an appeal to this decision has already been filed, Oregon state officials have not indicated that they will not move to disturb Judge McShane’s ruling. In addition, this week also saw Pennsylvania’s gay marriage ban struck down by U.S. District Judge John E. Jones. The Pennsylvania state Attorney General immediately announced that she would not be challenging the ruling and the state’s governor, Tom Corbett, has already stated that he would not appeal the decision because such an appeal would be extremely unlikely to succeed. Assuming this trend continues, homosexual individuals will be permitted to legally marry in the majority of the U.S. states within a few years. As marriage equality continues to spread across the nation it is very important that LGBT couples who decide to obtain a legal marriage license understand the rights, benefits, and privileges that their legal union bestows upon them based on their state’s laws. It is also imperative that in the event their relationship dissolves and they decide to seek a divorce to end their marriage each party is aware of their property and child custody rights as these issues will be in the forefront of the divorce proceedings – just as they are for heterosexual couples who are divorcing. If you are a gay or lesbian couple who plans on seeking a legal marriage or filing for a same-sex divorce or would like more information regarding the divorce process it is critical that you seek out the advice of an experienced attorney before proceeding. For more information about same-sex marriage, same-sex divorce, same-sex relationship dissolution, custody and visitation, equitable distribution or other family law matters in New Jersey visit DarlingFirm.com. This blog is for informational purposes and it is in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney.

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