On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the United States Constitution guarantees a right to same sex marriage. All states are now required to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state. Now, two consenting adults can be legally married in the state of Wisconsin, and can expect that Wisconsin, and all states, will recognize that marriage as legal.
It also follows that, any married couple should expect the same legal process of divorce in Wisconsin. However, how these laws apply to same sex marriages remains unsettled. For example, one glaring issue is determining the length of the marriage for purposes of maintenance, or alimony. Maintenance is linked to the length of marriage, so how will the courts determine when the marriage started? Will the court use the date of the couple’s actual marriage, or the date in which Wisconsin recognized the legality of their marriage? It also remains unsettled as to whether children born to same sex married couples will be ‘presumed’ by the State of Wisconsin to be children of both parties.
While the legal system determines these legal nuances, the fact remains that we can move forward from categorizing or defining marriages or divorces. Any individual who is seeking legal counsel for family law issues, including divorce, should feel confident that his or her attorney is prepared to guide her client through the legal process, regardless of whatever unique circumstances are involved. If you are facing this difficult situation, call us at (414) 258-1644 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.