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Maryland considers same-sex divorce

While Maryland does not recognize gay marriage, courts are currently deciding whether to authorize same-sex divorce in the state. The state's attorney general issued a statement in 2010 explaining that Maryland should grant divorce to same-sex couples since several neighboring states allow for gay marriages. While such a statement is not binding in anyway, he went on to explain that he predicted the Maryland Supreme Court might agree with him.

Maryland's lower courts have disagreed on the matter of same-sex divorce. A judge in Anne Arundel County approved a petition for divorce filed by two women, but judges in Baltimore City and Prince George's County refused similar petitions on the grounds that Maryland does not recognize gay marriage. The judges in these cases also stated that recognizing the marriage between same-sex couples would violate Maryland's public policy, and that therefore they did not have jurisdiction over such matters.

Some think it is unlikely that appeals courts would uphold the rulings of the lower courts regarding same-sex divorce. By refusing to accept the validity of same-sex marriages in other states, however, Maryland would also be forced to invalidate the same-sex divorces it has already granted, throwing many former couples into legal troubles.

While no one hopes for a divorce when they get married, for some couples it ends up being necessary in order for each spouse to lead a happy life. Divorce, however, is not always an easy process. There are a lot of decisions to be made and many agreements to come to. If you are seeking a divorce, speaking with an experienced legal professional may be helpful.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Md. doesn't recognize gay marriage, but what about gay divorce?" 27 June 2011

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