US: Indiana lawyers discuss first same-sex divorces, including complications

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Family lawyers in Indiana are expecting to see the State’s first divorces of same-sex marriage couples, after equal marriage was enshrined into law earlier this month.

On October 6th Indiana legalised same-sex marriage.

Indianapolis family lawyer Kathy Harmon has said now that same-sex marriages are recognised by the state, couples who were married elsewhere and are seeking to get divorced in Indiana can do so. Speaking to The Indianapolis Star, Harmon said:

“There’s no difference in that regard now, since we are now treating these marriages as we treat opposite-sex marriages, their divorces will be treated the same as well.”

But Ms Harmon says complications could still arise for same-sex couples who couldn’t get married in Indiana but rather lived together through a cohabitation agreement.

Further problems could arise if one partner had a child through adoption or artificial insemination and the other partner failed to do second-parent adoption. In this instance the non-adoptive parent would have no rights to the child, even though the marriage was legalised in Indiana.

There are currently 2 same-sex marriage divorce cases pending in Marion County.

Executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana, Micah Clark, said he is not surprised at the filings of same-sex divorce cases. “Simply saying that the government is approving something doesn’t make it more stable,” he said.