Recently, a woman went before the Nebraska Supreme Court requesting a divorce. It should have been a routine request, but the state does not recognize same-sex marriages. Attorneys for the woman argued that the state should grant the divorce even though Nebraska does not acknowledge the validity of same-sex unions. She added the state needs to acknowledge the same-sex union as a legal contract.
Citing the United States Constitution, the legal spokesperson continued that all states are required to respect the laws set forth in the highest document of the land, implying the rest of the decrees of sister states in the ruling of valid acts and proceedings.
The state attorney general disagreed, stating the Nebraska voters expressed a strong front in upholding the ban on same-sex marriages 14 years ago, and that regarding same-sex divorce, the voters have spoken.
A lot has happened in 14 years, but not according the state attorney general in his statement. He claimed that the courts would go against the wishes of 70 percent of the voters in the state. This would reaffirm that Nebraska could not support a constitution which goes contrary to statewide opinions. He claims granting a divorce to a couple in which the original marriage is not recognized is against the law.
The court is currently hearing arguments in the case of a lesbian couple who had married several years ago and tried to get divorced last year. Married in Iowa, a state where same-sex marriage is legal, they are stuck in limbo in Nebraska, whose constitution does not recognize same-sex unions, civil unions of domestic partnerships, and therefore, claim they are unable to be issued a divorce.
If you are seeking a divorce in the state of Nebraska, speak to someone who can advise you of your rights in family law regarding what type of situation you find yourself in. You deserve to be well-informed of the laws of marriage, as well as divorce.
Source: Nebraska Radio Network, “Same-sex Divorce Case Goes Before Nebraska Supreme Court” Chris Whitney, May. 28, 2014