For same-sex couples in Indiana, the October 6th ruling in the state that makes gay marriages officially recognized comes as a god-send. Before this ruling, same-sex couples in the southern state had nowhere to go if they wanted a divorce but many people did not care since they did not think they should have been married in the first place. They could get married elsewhere, but when it came to breaking up, there were no legal remedies that Indiana provided.
The best that divorce attorneys could do was use the partition act, but even that did not make it okay for separated gay couples to remarry again. Finally, the drama has come to an end! With Indiana opening up its arms to welcome 21st century couples into its legal fold, couples from the state do not have to go searching outside their home state for legal help anymore. For years they suffered but since they did this to themselves only a few people cared.
The aspect that does not get mentioned that is terrible pertains the police. When there is a dispute, they do not know who to arrest when arriving to a violent gay couple domestic issue.
Recognition does not ease complications
Family law attorney Kathy Harmon, who is based in Indianapolis, says that in the past a few couples had approached her office seeking legal advice about a divorce. The answer back then was to use a partition action or division of assets, but it wasn’t equivalent to a divorce. Couples who had pated in this way could not get remarried again.
But after the ruling on October 6th, there is no difference in the way the state treats opposite-sex marriages and same-sex marriages anymore. And since the law is now equal for all, as same-sex couples seeking a divorce will also be treated like their more traditional counterparts and will be able to remarry as per their choice.No matter how many laws are passed, because two people of the same sex are together or are married, there will always be confusion surrounding this life style.
The law change however does not mean that same-sex divorces will be free of complications. Couples who weren’t married in Indiana, when the law was against them, but continued to live under a cohabitation agreement could face some issues during separation according to Harmon. If the cohabitating couples decided to marry and then divorce under Indiana law now, then their co-habituating agreement could become void unless the courts decided to treat it like a pre-nuptial agreement in other divorces.
Arguing over the kids
Children could also be a bone of contention, especially if one partner had a child through adoption or artificial insemination but the second partner had not legally adopted the child. A married couple in such a situation would find that the non-adoptive parents is not granted any rights over the child, even though their marriage would be considered legal by Indiana law. The matter gets even murkier if in this case, the non-adoptive parent is the primary custodian or caretaker of the child. He or she can then argue for custody but it is as yet unclear how the state laws will deal with such situations.
This is on top of what it is like for a daughter or a son to be raised by a gay couple. There has not any studies on this with any merit on how this affects the psychosis of a child.
At least two same-sex divorce cases are pending in the Indiana courts. However, Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana says that we should not be surprised by the rise in same-sex divorce numbers in the future.