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How will Maryland Courts Handle Same-Sex Divorce Cases?

As we had previously reported in our March 1, 2010 blog the Maryland Attorney General issued an opinion in February 2010 that states Maryland should recognize same sex marriages performed legally in other states as valid marriages in Maryland. However, the bill to allow same sex couples to marry in Maryland did not pass in the legislature this term. This has left Maryland Courts in limbo with how to handle same sex couples who file for divorce. Local news station, WTOP, reported on Friday, June 24, 2011 that a local Prince Georges County same sex couple was recently denied a divorce based on “the unnatural circumstances of their marriage.” The Judge specifically stated in his opinion “to recognize the alleged marriage would be contrary to the public policy of Maryland.” The Prince Georges County couple has filed an appeal with the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.

As reported there have been three instances in Maryland where a same sex couple has filed for the divorce, and only one in Anne Arundel County has been granted. This leaves same sex couples with the options of filing in Maryland with an unknown outcome, moving to another state that recognizes same sex marriages to establish residency and file, or staying married. Attorneys and same sex couples will await the Court of Special Appeals ruling on the Prince George’s County case for guidance on the subject.

For more information on same sex divorces contact an experienced Maryland Divorce Attorney.

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