Same-sex couple granted divorce amidst intervening lawmakers

Texas couples considering divorce may be interested to learn that a Tennessee judge granted a divorce to a same-sex couple. The case had become a political issue after the judge had initially denied parental rights to one of the women as he argued that she did not meet the state's legal definition of "husband".

Throughout the divorce, lawmakers had been attempting to intervene by filing court papers. They were represented by the Family Action Council of Tennessee, a group that supports only marriages between one man and one woman. In fact, lawmakers were pushing a bill through the state legislature that encouraged judges to deny certain rights to same-sex couples, especially when the judges were defining legal terms like "husband" and "wife".

The lawmakers involved were appealing the case after the judge denied their ability to intervene. Further, the law moving through the legislature would require judges to use the natural meaning of words that are defined in the state laws. If passed, this law would allow courts to circumvent the protections given to same-sex couples by the U.S. Supreme Court.

For any couple, the divorce process can be extremely complex. For a same-sex divorce, however, the process can be even more difficult as same-sex individuals still face many legal challenges. If a former couple decides that it is time to end their same-sex marriage, an attorney may assist with the divorce process while protecting a person's rights, particularly if there are child custody issues or if a person is seeking spousal support.

Source: LGBTQ Nation, "Lesbian couple granted divorce despite legislators' attempts to make it a circus", May 12, 2017

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