Over the last few years family lawyers have had to turn away a lot of same-sex individuals looking for a way to move on with their lives after a relationship went sour. Michigan did not recognize gay marriage, so the courts could not dissolve their marriages or grant them divorces. Most states won’t grant divorces to people who don’t live there, so these couples couldn’t go back to where they got married either. This left members of Michigan’s LGBT community in a strange gray area: legally married somewhere, but not able to get divorced anywhere. They were stuck in marriages they no longer wanted.
But then, the United States Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide and specifically struck down Michigan’s gay marriage ban. The court said states like Michigan had to recognize LGBT marriages that were legal when they were performed.
That included the 300 couples married in Michigan on March 22, 2014 – the one day between the District Court’s decision legalizing Michigan gay marriage and the Court of Appeals’ hold on the decision.
One of those couples got caught up in the moment and married because they could, not because it was right for them. After a few short months they knew it wasn’t right for them.
But at that point Michigan’s Attorney General, Bill Schuette was still claiming the state didn’t have to recognize their marriage. Then in January 2015 the District Court said he was wrong: the marriages were valid. Governor Snyder put a stop to the appeal and finally agreed to treat these gay marriages the same as all the other couples in the state.
Schmidt Law Services wasted no time helping that couple to move out of the gray and on with their lives. The complaint was filed even before the Supreme Court reached its decision in Obergefell. After the required waiting period, LGBT family attorney Lisa J. Schmidt appeared before a Circuit Court judge the other day in Pontiac, Michigan, and the first gay divorce in Oakland County was granted.
There’s no need for gay and lesbian couples to live in limbo any longer. Michigan courts are now required to grant divorces if there has been a breakdown in a gay marriage, no matter where that marriage was performed. If you are separated from your partner and need the courts to grant you a divorce, contact Schmidt Law Services, PLLC, for a free consultation today.