Back in 2015, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) got repealed by the Supreme Court, meaning that same-sex marriage is now legal everywhere. Before, only a select few states had allowed it. This ruling opened the door for marriage everywhere since the states quickly fell in line with the ruling.
So, how many people took advantage of that? According to a report from March of 2019, around 491,000 same-sex marriages have happened so far in the United States. That number, of course, is always increasing as more and more couples tie the knot.
This change has had a dramatic impact on all aspects of family law. After all, same-sex couples get divorced just like opposite-sex couples, so the increase in marriages has also led to an increase in divorce cases.
This has raised a lot of questions. For example, if a couple lived together before getting married because they could not legally marry, and then they officially got married when it became legal, what counts as the beginning of the relationship? When did they start buying joint assets? What does that date mean for potential alimony payments? Does it change what rights they have or how they are going to split up what they own?
Some have said that the rules are “still being written,” and that helps to show how complicated these cases can get. They simply open up a lot of new territory, and everyone may not agree on how to handle it. That’s why it’s so important for those getting divorced to know exactly what legal rights they have.