Despite the fact that the state of Virginia legalized same-sex marriage in October of last year, a huge number of married couples continued to be treated unfairly under the law. That is why we here at Donna Dougherty Law, P.C., specialize in family law and how it is applied to cases involving same-sex couples and divorce proceedings. Now, our clients and same-sex couples across the country can benefit from equal access to vital legal protections and rights as the result of a recent Supreme Court ruling.
The 2014 legalization of same-sex marriage in Virginia granted couples the right to marry and divorce in the state. Beyond that, the overruling of several Defense of Marriage Act provisions legalized same-sex unions on the federal level in 2013. Still, many individual states continued to debate the issue and refuse to legally recognize same-sex marriages that were conducted elsewhere. In fact, 13 states still had yet to legalize same-sex marriage as of last week. That meant that many Virginia residents continued to have serious questions and concerns about major family law processes like child custody, spousal support and property division.
All of that changed on June 26 of this year, however, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. The 5-to-4 vote eliminated states’ individual right to prohibit same-sex marriage, ensuring that all present and future legal unions are recognized in every part of the country. While this verdict is being lauded by many as a civil rights victory, it also has a number of practical implications. For one thing, same-sex couples everywhere can consider the option of getting married and/or divorced. They can also count on being granted the same benefits, rights and obligations as other couples across the country.
With so many changes to the law occurring in such a short amount of time, it’s no wonder that you and a huge number of other Virginia residents may have questions about how new legislation affects you and your family. Visit our web page today to learn more about divorce and other family law topics.