Same-sex marriage now legal in North Carolina. So is divorce

Regardless of your position on the issue of whether same-sex individuals should marry each other, it is now a matter of law in North Carolina that such marriages are legal.

That happened as the result of a federal judge’s ruling in Asheville late last week. As The News and Observer reported, the judge declared that the state’s constitutional ban on such unions and state laws prohibiting the marriages are “unconstitutional as a matter of law.”

It is possible that the ruling could be appealed, but considering that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a similar ruling by the 4th Circuit Court concerning Virginia law, it doesn’t seem likely to happen. The 4th Circuit is also responsible for North Carolina.

In the wake of the decision, a number of counties across the state have begun issuing marriage licenses and same-sex couples have begun lining up to have their relationships legally recognized. And as that happens, some legal observers note that the decision also means that same-sex couples who married in other states can now seek divorces if they wish.

It was prohibited under the ban, but now some predict there will be a wave of requests for dissolution. Many have offered the view that marriage has a way of changing the dynamic of a relationship. What worked well when two people lived together can turn sour and the bond begins to whither, and it’s unlikely that will be different for same-sex couples.

What remains certain is that any couple pursuing a divorce, and especially those who may be parents with child custody issues to wrestle with, face challenges. To deal with them most effectively, the help of an experienced legal advocate should be sought.

Source: WNCN-TV, “Same-sex divorces now allowed in NC, too,” Steve Sbraccia, Oct. 13, 2014