The following comes from an August 14 Wall Street Journal article by Lindsey Ellis:
June’s Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage is sending some couples to court for a very different reason: same-sex divorce.
Marie Griffin, who lives in Savannah, Georgia, moved out of the home she shared with her wife in late May. But the couple, who married in 2014 in Washington, D.C., couldn’t legally end their marriage, because Georgia didn’t permit either same-sex marriage or divorce.
On the day of the June 26 Supreme Court ruling that all states must recognize same-sex marriages, she said that she recalled thinking, “We have to, and we can, get a divorce now.” She contacted a lawyer and is pursuing a divorce.
Her wife, Sandy Rogers, didn’t return requests for comment. Ms. Rogers’ attorney, Martin G. Hilliard, said his client and Ms. Griffin were in a “legal hinterland” when they separated before the ruling. The ability to divorce lifts a “huge burden.”
Couples in states like Georgia are lining up both to wed and divorce in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, according to attorneys, some of whom are reaching out to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities for business.
Some say they have clients who have been waiting for years to divorce. Even some counties that initially refused to issue marriage licenses following the Supreme Court ruling say they are allowing same-sex divorces.
Before the ruling, same-sex couples who wanted to separate in states that didn’t recognize same-sex marriage or divorce often had to wade through multiple lawsuits to divide property, determine custody of children, and settle other matters, said Christie Ayotte Baer, Ms. Griffin’s attorney. Even then, a client would have still legally been married in any of the 37 states, and the District of Columbia, that recognized the union.
Yet returning to the state where a same-sex couple married was often impossible because many states require periods of residency of several months or a year before a couple can divorce.
Now, Ms. Baer said, same-sex divorces are similar to those of divorces between different-sex couples. A same-sex partner may even now qualify for alimony, she said.