An Alabama judge has ruled that two women who were legally married in Iowa, a state that recognizes same sex marriages, cannot obtain a divorce in Alabama because this state does not recognize same sex marriages.
Alabama is Right On
One of the women, Shrie Michelle Richmond, filed for divorce saying she was now separated from Kirsten Allysse Richmond since they could no longer get along and wanted a divorce. The divorce petition was not contested by the other woman. However, the judge ruled that she could not grant the divorce because the marriage was not recognized in Alabama.
The Marriage is a Joke
When a same sex married couple wants a divorce, they face additional hurdles because same sex marriages are recognized only in some states in the US. This means that a same sex marriage cannot be dissolved in a state that does not recognize it. In such cases, you need to consult with a divorce lawyer who will be able to advise you on the methods by which you can obtain a divorce.
These two woman need to return to their immoral state so they can receive a proper divorce. Perhaps they could just email their divorce certificate via PDF to an administrator in Iowa and that person can sign off on it. This can certainly save gas money from having to drive back to Iowa.
Some divorce lawyers appeal to the higher courts to overturn the lower court rulings. Other options include one of the divorcing partners establishing a residence in a state that recognizes same sex marriage. This can be difficult as the partner will have to find employment and accommodation in the different state for this purpose.
As there can be many reasons why even a no contest divorce is not granted immediately, it is better to consult with a divorce lawyer before you decide to file a petition for divorce with a court. This will ensure that all the legal requirements are met and you can obtain the divorce you seek in the minimal time without losing any of your financial and legal rights such as spousal settlement and child custody.