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5 Calif. L. Rev. Circuit 218 (2014)

handle is hein.journals/callro5 and id is 1 raw text is: 















    California Law Review Circuit



    VOL. 5                                                      FEBRUARY 2014
                      Copyright © 2014 by California Law Review, Inc.



                      Same-Sex Divorce



                              Tracy A. Thomas*



     Same-sex marriage is now legal in seventeen states and sixteen countries.1
With this change, a question increasingly being asked is how same-sex couples
can divorce. It is an easy answer for those who live in a marriage equality state;
the usual divorce procedures apply. The problem arises for those who live in or
move to a prohibition state that does not authorize same-sex marriage. As an
article in the New York Times recently explained, [fin a highly mobile society,
state bans on same-sex marriage have in many cases made untying the knot far
harder than tying it in the first place.2 Without the legal option to divorce,
same-sex couples cannot remarry, suffer psychological harm from forced
personal relationships and incur continued financial burdens from joint
obligations like debt, insurance, and federal taxes.3



    Copyright © 2014 California Law Review, Inc. California Law Review, Inc. (CLR) is a
California nonprofit corporation. CLR and the authors are solely responsible for the content of their
publications.
    *    Aileen McMurray Trusler Professor of Law, The University of Akron.
    1.   As of January 2014, the states are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa,
Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York,
Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia. The countries are Argentina,
Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, England/Wales, France, Iceland, Netherlands, New Zealand,
Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and Uruguay.
    2.   See Erica Goode, Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage May Help Resolve Status of Divorce, N.Y.
TIMES (July 2, 2013), http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/03/us/ruling-might-also-ease-the-way-for-
same-sex-divorces.html.
    3. Dahlia Lithwick &    Sonja West, Texas Hold 'Er, SLATE (Sept. 11, 2013),
http://www.slate.com/articles/news and politics/jurisprudence/2013/09/texas and-gay marriage will
texas-refusal to-grant divorces to same sex.single.html; Karen Hartman, Bound in a Gay Union
by a State Denying It, N.Y. TuMEs (July 15, 2011), http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/17/
nyregion/bound-in-a-gay-union-by-a-state-that-didnt-recognize-it.html'?pagewanted=all& r=-0; see
Mary P. Byrn & Morgan L. Holcomb, Same-Sex Divorce in a DOMA State, 50 FAM. CT. REv. 214
(2012); Goode, supra note 2; Jesse Green, From '7 Do to 'I'm Done, N.Y. MAG. (Feb. 24, 2013),

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