Tag Archives: same sex divorce

Still No Gay Marriage in MS; Same-Sex Marriage Stayed Pending Expedited Hearing

You’ve seen same-sex marriage blogged aplenty.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has extended the stay put in place by Judge Carlton Reeves after he struck down Mississippi’s ban on same-sex marriage, finding same as unconstitutional.

The case has been fast tracked and will be heard in January, but not before 2 other cases regarding the same subject matter are set to be heard. One case originated out of Texas and the other, Louisiana. These states along with Mississippi make up the 5th Federal Circuit.

Regardless of the 5th Circuit decision, I expect this one to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

So, what does this mean for the average Mississippian?  The law is the same as before the Federal Court ruling, for now.

Terribly interested in this Topic, like I am? Read more below;

MISSISSIPPI & SAME SEX MARRIAGE; THE END OR THE BEGINNING?

MISSISSIPPI SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BAN STRUCK DOWN

MISSISSIPPI: SAME-SEX MARRIAGE AND THE RATIONAL BASIS ARGUMENT

MISSISSIPPI IN THE NEWS- A TEST CASE ON SAME-SEX DIVORCE

MISSISSIPPI SAME-SEX DIVORCE DENIED.

Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney in Mississippi and is keeping pace with the changes in the law.

Follow the blog:#BowTieLawyer Visit the website: #Thompson Law Firm  You may also contact Matthew with your family law matter or question at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

Mississippi Same-Sex Divorce DENIED.

Mississippi is again in the national news.  I blogged recently about a same-sex divorce case pending in Desoto County, Mississippi.  The Court has now rendered a verdict.

An apparent reluctant Judge, bound to follow the law as written, denied a divorce to a same-sex couple.  The couple, married in California, separated in Mississippi after residing here for several years.  Upon separation one party moved to Florida with the other remaining here.  The Mississippian initially sought a contested divorce, but it appeared that the parties had come to a settlement for a no-fault (irreconcilable differences) divorce.  However, their agreement to divorce was not enough.

Mississippi law, as it currently stands, prohibits the recognition of same-sex marriages in the State.  Therefor, if you do not have a marriage, you cannot get a divorce.  That is the basic logic that was applied in this instance.

Interestingly, State Attorney General Jim Hood intervened on behalf of the State.  The AG’s office argued that the Mississippi Constitution defines marriage as between one man and one woman and that MS has a specific statute that disallows recognizing another state’s same-sex marriage.  These arguments carried the day, at least for now.

The Mississippian, denied a divorce, plans to appeal the decision of the Chancellor and will challenge the constitutionality of Mississippi’s laws.  The ultimate conclusion will be a balancing of the State’s compelling interest in “protecting” marriage and limitations on who may and may not marry versus an individual’s right to privacy, liberty, and the right to marry.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney and domestic relations adj. professor at MC Law;  Keeping you abreast of the ever-changing world of family law in which we live in.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the websiteThompson Law FirmYou may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

Mississippi in the News- A Test Case on Same-Sex Divorce

Mississippi is the site of the latest same-sex challenge to laws preventing same-sex persons from getting married and seeking a divorce.

same-sex-divorce-cake-story-top
http://www.CNN.com

A Mississippi resident, who married her spouse in California, is now seeking that a Mississippi Court divorce them.  The couple lived in Mississippi for some time after their marriage and ultimately separated in the Magnolia State.  The case is pending in DeSoto County Chancery court and has garnered world-wide attention.

However, it may not be a walk in the park…

MS law specifically provides that a same-sex marriage is VOID.  Void means it does not exist, not that it could if everything was just right. Void=nothing.  The law goes on to specifically deny that MS has to recognize another state’s same-sex marriage.

MCA 93-1-1, (2) Any marriage between persons of the same gender is prohibited and null and void from the beginning. Any marriage between persons of the same gender that is valid in another jurisdiction does not constitute a legal or valid marriage in Mississippi.

Now before you bash MS too much for this, it is quite common that states have different laws regarding requirements for persons to get married in their respective states.  Different laws can be allowed.  For instance you can marry your niece-in-law in California, but not in Utah.  And Utah does not have to recognize the CA marriage.  Nothing to do with same gender on that restriction.  Also, most states prohibit same-sex marriage, only 14 states allow same-sex marriage, at this time.

There are several issues that are apparent in this MS pending matter.

Issue #1.  MS law, which at this time is valid and constitutional by the way, disallows their “marriage” to be recognized as a marriage.  And, if no marriage, then there can be no divorce.

Issue #2.  The Mississippian sued her spouse on Habitual Cruel and Inhuman Treatment.  The parties had been separated for over 3 years by the time of filing which may be an indicator of limited grounds regarding cruelty, which is one of the most difficult grounds to prove.  So there may not be a divorce on cruelty anyway, as the plaintiff could not meet her burden of proof.

Issue #3.   The Mississippian sued her spouse for Adultery.  Adultery, in Mississippi, is defined as “sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite sex, not your spouse.” Despite this being the Bible Belt, it is possible that Mrs. Defendant is in another relationship with another person, of her same sex, and is still not committing “adultery.” Technically speaking, of course.

Issue #4.   The Constitution’s Full Faith & Credit clause.  FF&C requires that a valid Order from one State be recognized in another.  The catch is a Marriage is not an Order, but rather a contractual arrangement between the two spouses and the state that they are being married in.  This means a  marriage is not entitled to Full Faith and Credit.  Interestingly, a divorce would be, assuming the Jurisdictional/residency requirements were met.

So, some legal mumbo-jumbo and a refrain from a little common sense results in…nothing.  That is exactly what this litigant will get from Mississippi and will likely get it in abundance.  Stay tuned for more developments.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney and domestic relations adj. professor at MC Law;  Keeping you abreast of the ever-changing world of family law in which we live in.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the websiteThompson Law FirmYou may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms