same sex marriage and divorce in tnWhile some were celebrating the Supreme Court of the United States’ landmark ruling that declared any law prohibiting same-sex marriage as unconstitutional by getting married, others used the opportunity to get divorced. The first same-sex divorce case in Knox County was filed on July 1st by a couple that was married in New York last year. The two women cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for their divorce.

Another couple filed their complaint for divorce in Montgomery County Chancery Court on Friday, June 26th just before the courthouse closed for the weekend. This couple was married last year in Indiana, but until the Supreme Court’s ruling they would not have been able to seek a divorce in Tennessee because same-sex divorce was not available here. Because the residency requirement is one year before you can file, the couple was unable to get a divorce until now.

County officials have discovered that they will need to revise the court documents used for divorce filings because they now refer to “husband,” and “wife,” which of course would not apply to same-sex couples. The county will have to change the forms to read “spouse one and spouse two,” or something more appropriate to include same-sex divorce, according to a story on WBIR.com.

Now that same-sex couples can legally divorce, those couples are celebrating the victory in their own quiet way. No longer do they have to worry about the fact that their marriage, which was legal in the state where it was performed, was not even recognized in other states. According to research conducted by the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, same-sex couples divorce at about the same rate as opposite-sex couples.

The laws regarding same-sex divorce are still in flux here in Tennessee, but anyone seeking to end their marriage will need the help of a skilled divorce lawyer, regardless of whom they married. As a divorce attorney, I use my skills and experience to advocate for those who are ready to end their marriage and move on with their lives. To learn more, please contact me, Kevin W. Shepherd, Attorney at Law, at my offices in Maryville or in Franklin.

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