Law Blog

Obtaining a Same-Sex Divorce in Michigan

As the Mark Slackmeyer character once quipped in the Doonesbury comic strip, the reason we need gay marriage is so we can have gay divorce. The unfortunate fact is that some same-sex relationships, even of long duration, do not last. So until recently, without the right to marry, the rights and protections of divorce did not extend to same-sex couples.

While many states have now legalized same-sex marriage and some others now recognize marriages performed in other states and countries, questions are naturally starting to emerge about how this changing patchwork of laws applies to Michigan couples. For instance, if a lesbian couple residing in Michigan wishes to end their marriage, they must go to a jurisdiction that recognizes their marriage in the first place. That still leaves Michigan out, making the process potentially far more difficult and expensive, even when the couple has agreed to all terms.

Making matters more complicated, some states that may be willing to grant a divorce to same-sex couples require the couple to first establish residency there, effectively barring most couples from taking advantage of the law. On top of that, the laws change state by state on seemingly a weekly basis, and the courts are facing a wave of new cases in the near future. A lot remains to be settled.

Nessel and Kessel Law successfully argued the DeBoer v Snyder case before the Michigan Supreme Court, cementing their role as the leader in LGBT rights cases. While the federal and state courts sort out the implications of this landmark case, Nessel and Kessel Law has been exploring options for Michigan residents who wish to end their same-sex marriages performed in other states or countries, without having to travel there or establish residency. If either you or your spouse lives in Michigan and wish to dissolve your marriage, rely on the leadership and experience of Nessel and Kessel Law for guidance in these turbulent times. For the best legal advice and representation, committed to protecting the rights of LGBT couples, contact our law firm today at 313-556-2300.