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Residency Requirements Make It Difficult for Same-Sex Couples to Divorce

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Minnesota since 2013, but not every state has embraced the law. While the tide is slowly turning, with more and more states legalizing same-sex marriage, there are still holdouts. In these states, it is illegal to marry someone of your same gender. It is also illegal to get a divorce if you’re in a same-sex marriage. This has proven to be a major issue that gay and lesbian couples are struggling with when they wish to uncouple.

While, for instance, a couple could travel to a state where same-sex marriage is legal to get married, they cannot make the same pilgrimage for a divorce. Most states have residency requires for divorce and couples who do not meet those requirements cannot utilize their courts for divorce. If a couple lives in a state where same-sex marriage has not been legalized, they can be stuck as a married couple even if they are no longer cohabitating and have moved on as divorcees.

For its part, Minnesota has attempted to address this issue by relaxing its residency requirements and allowing same-sex couples to divorce even if they do not live in the state. However, the state will not address issues relating to child custody, visitation and support for couples who are not domiciled within the state. Often these are most complicated and important matters relating to a divorce and the inability to utilize legal channels to provide definitive answers can be extremely problematic for divorcing same-sex couples. For instance, noncustodial parents have no legal right to pursue visitation or custody of their children despite the fact that they may have legally adopted them.

Custody, property division and other issues are difficult in any type of divorce. If you are going through this process, consult the knowledgeable Minnesota family law attorneys at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. today.

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Client testimonials
  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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