What to do about a same-sex divorce?

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What to do about a same-sex divorce?

I am a lesbian. My ex-partner and I were married in a stae that allows same-sex marriages. We live in a state where the marriage is not recognized. We want to get divorced but cannot because we are not residents if the state in which we were married. We tried to get a declaratory judgement but it was denied. Now my ex is trying to get a regular divorce by not disclosing the fact that I am a woman. My name could possibly be a man’s name too. I am not to show up at any hearings and she will only refer to me as the respondent. Can we get in trouble for this? If the divorce does happen to go through, is it a legal divorce?

Asked on November 24, 2012 under Family Law, Minnesota

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

This would not be a legal divorce and would be considered a fraud upon the court (which courts do not take lightly). You should check with your local ACLU on the exact steps to take with respect to divorce. Do not attempt to do this alone. Consider again hiring an attorney to help you navigate through this...these are new laws with lots of gaps so you are not the only ones who have hit upon this issue and you will benefit from talking to those attorneys who have navigated this type of divorce.  But again, a fraud upon the court will negate any court order.

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You have a very good question. The best way to try and resolve the dissolution of the same sex marriage is to file for the dissolution in the state where you were married which recognizes same sex marriages. You should take the position that such state has jurisdiction over your matter since that is where you were married.


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