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  • Mar 12th, 2016

    Gay Marriage Legal EVERYWHERE, so what?


    Yesterday, the Supreme Court made a historic decision regarding the rights of a large group of Americans.  Gay marriage is now legal everywhere, which has many implications here in Missouri.

    The first, which I think is extremely important, is that gay people married in other states previously are now able to get divorced.  As crazy as it sounds, I have had several people try and get divorced, only to be told that there is really no way to do that until now.  If you were legally married in Iowa, which has no residency requirement to marry, you could not get divorced ANYWHERE if you lived in Missouri.  You see, each state has their own residency requirements prior to being able to get divorced.  Missouri would not recognize marriage from another state, therefore you could not get divorced as there was no recognition of the marriage, even if your marriage was legal in another state.  So for all you people that were married in another state and now want to get divorced, you can finally do it!

    Now we get to the people who were waiting until it was legal everywhere to get married.  This is an exciting time for you right now, and I am sure there are a lot of emotions.  However, with the right of marriage, you also need to consider the possibility of divorce.  You need to plan for what happens if the marriage does not work out, and that means discussing what is commonly referred to as the prenuptial agreement.  This is NOT planning for a divorce, but is making things as simple as possible should a divorce happen in the future.  Nobody goes into a marriage planning on getting a divorce.  However, statistically, more than half of marriages do end in divorce.  The ones that usually end on good terms are the couples that have thought about this before the marriage, and have a blueprint as to how things will progress should the marriage end in the future.  It is not a fun conversation, but I can assure you, if you get married without one, you might regret it later.

    Finally, I would like to end on a happy note (which I don’t often get to do being a family law attorney), and that is adoptions!  Now that (gay) marriage is legal throughout the United States, I would expect that the priority for children to go to homes where there are happily married couples would include you!  I cannot express how much some of these children need your family, and strongly encourage you to look into adoption.

    Regardless of what you might need, Haefner Law Office is happy to help in any way possible.