SOURCE: Attorney Hilary B. Miller

March 22, 2010 10:24 ET

Connecticut Attorney Demystifies Same-Sex Divorce Challenges

GREENWICH, CT--(Marketwire - March 22, 2010) -  With same-sex marriage making headlines across the country, courts and divorce attorneys alike are taking a closer look at problems that emerge as gay and lesbian couples increasingly seek to end their marriages.

With little precedent, many courts are struggling to determine how to handle same-sex divorce cases. Some appeals court judges are ruling that states do not have jurisdiction to grant same-sex divorces. And some state lawmakers are introducing new legislation that aims to make it easier for gay and lesbian couples to obtain a divorce.

One Connecticut litigator has clear answers to same-sex divorce questions. "The right to obtain a divorce depends on two factors: the couple must have a legal relationship recognized by the state and must meet the state's residency requirements," said Hilary B. Miller, a senior litigation attorney in Connecticut whose practice include family law. "A same-sex couple who marry in Connecticut can get a divorce in Connecticut as long as one of the parties still resides there when the divorce case begins. Same-sex couples who visit Connecticut for the sole purpose of getting married can't get divorced in a Connecticut court."

Much the same, if the same-sex couple lives in Connecticut at the time of the marriage but later moves to a state that doesn't recognize same-sex marriages, they may find themselves unable to obtain a divorce, Miller explained. What's more, he said, the same-sex couple can't then get a divorce in Connecticut either, because they no longer meet Connecticut's residency requirements.

"While obtaining a same-sex divorce in Connecticut is 'conventional' in all respects -- including the jurisdictional requirements, grounds, division of property, child custody, alimony, and so on -- parties considering contracting a same-sex marriage in Connecticut should prepare for the possibility that they may relocate outside the state during their marriage and be left with no practical means of ending the marriage if the need arises," Miller concluded. "Same-sex couples should plan through these issues through proper premarital planning, including a prenuptial agreement."

About Hilary B. Miller, Esq.
Hilary B. Miller is a prominent Connecticut attorney on the cutting edge of same-sex marriage and divorce issues. Miller is also active in pro bono litigation of AIDS-related claims, including family, employment and insurance matters. He graduated from Fordham University School of Law and is admitted to the Connecticut, New York and District of Columbia bars. Visit Miller's family-law web site at ct-divorce.com.

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