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How do I go about getting a same sex divorce in the US when we were married in Canada?

Asheville, NC |

My partner and I were married in Canada. Now we want to get a divorce but both of us are US residents living in different states. Either state we live in does not recognize same sex marriage. I know the US was in the process of passing a bill to abolish this. I'm curious if there is a viable option available yet.

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Attorney answers 2


I am sorry that you are stuck in this position. However, I would urge you to chat with a local attorney in your state and see if you can still avail yourself of the probate court/family court to have a divorce. If you have established jurisdiciton in your state they may still divorce you or check with your spouses state and see if they have provisions for this. Worst case you can always move to a state that does acknowledge it, establish jurisdiction depending upon that states time periods and then do a divorce their although that is a tremendous amount of work, it depends how badly you want or need the divorce. take care.

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.


There are some states that, although they do not recognize same sex marriage, have ruled that they will recognize it for the limited purpose of ending the marriage. The reasoning in the appeals courts has been that even if the state does not recognize same sex marriage as an ongoing relationship, they can recognize it to terminate it because public policy of the state is against the marriage. Now that North Carolina has Amendment One, I do not think that is an argument that can be used here for you to get a divorce. Your partner can check with an attorney in the state he or she lives in and see if an attorney there thinks that argument would work in that state.

Legal disclaimer: Rebecca Watts is licensed only in the state of North Carolina. This response does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This response is only intended to provide general information and there may be other facts relevant to the issue which were not disclosed by the questioner and which would affect the answer. For specific legal guidance, the questioner should confer with an attorney about the specifics of his or her matter.

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