It was only in February this year that Alabama began to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Etowah County was one among 13 counties that began issuing licenses. While many have been against the move, 40 year old Marcus Leonard was the only one to make an effort to protest against same-sex marriages outside the Etowah County Courthouse in Gadsden.
Marcus Leonard is on the right side of morality
The postman by profession in an al.com report said that it was hard to think that this was really happening in Alabama. He walked around the boundary of the Gadsden courthouse premises with a sign that read “No Same-Sex Marriges (sic) No!!” with Bible verses on homosexuality on one side of his placard. Some passersby expressed their support although Leonard did not expect help from anyone else during his protest.
Alabama grants same-sex divorce
According to Gadsden, AL divorce attorneys, Alabama joined thirty six other states in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, which has been a hotly debated issue for decades. Several same-sex couples who were issued marriage licenses in other states have been residing in Alabama for a while and now have the opportunity to file for divorce as well.
A same sex couple from Madison County was denied a divorce in 2014 but was granted a divorce in March 2015, as reported by al.com. Shrie Michelle Richmond and Kirsten Allysse Richmond were legally divorced by Madison County Circuit Judge Karen Hall exactly one year after their first petition was denied.
Earlier, the laws of Alabama did not give the judge the power to divorce them. Gadsden, AL divorce lawyers say that if it wasn’t for the new rules, the couple would have had to go back to Iowa where they were married and establish residency for a year before filing for a divorce petition.
The new law allowed them to remain in Alabama and seek divorce. In January, a Mobile federal court judge ruled that banning same-sex marriages in the state was a violation of the US Constitution’s equal protection clause. Alabama’s probate judges began issuing same-sex marriage licenses a month later.
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Alabama divorce laws
While the laws for same–sex couples are being redefined, straight couples who are seeking divorce ought to understand the basics of Alabama’s divorce laws. To begin with, the state allows couples to base their divorce on fault grounds or petition for a no-fault divorce. A spouse will need to provide evidence of adultery, abandonment, domestic violence, substance abuse, or any other relevant issue in order to seek a divorce on fault grounds.
On the other hand, couples can petition for a no-fault divorce citing an irretrievable breakdown of their marriage, and do not need to prove any other grounds for the divorce. According to Alabama divorce lawyers, if there is any dispute on issues such as alimony or child support, the judge may consider fault grounds.
Prior to filing a divorce petition, one of the spouses must be a resident of Alabama for at least six months. Once the petition is filed, a final judgment is usually granted after 30 days. The state uses the system of equitable division when it comes to marital property and debts where the division may not be exactly equal, depending on various factors. No matter what, it is always prudent to seek the services of an experienced Alabama divorce attorney to make sure you receive a fair settlement.