Will I be Able to Complete a Same Sex Marriage or Divorce in Missouri?
Like so many states, same sex marriage and same sex divorce are not endorsed by the state of Missouri. Same sex couples looking to get married have to go elsewhere, and up until recently it appeared to be the same for couples looking for a same sex divorce. The tide may be turning, but same sex couples still face challenges in getting their union recognized in the state.
Missouri Prohibits Same Sex Marriage
Since 2004 the state of Missouri has specifically prohibited marriage between same sex partners. Although the Supreme Court recently made a ruling that appeared quite promising for same sex marriage, the actual laws are still left largely up to the states. In 2004 Missouri voted in a ban on same sex marriage that still applies today.
This forces any couple wanting to get a same sex marriage to travel outside of Missouri to another state that offers same sex marriage. If the couple wants to remain living in Missouri, they have to deal with the challenges a lack of recognition represents.
Difficult To Get A Same Sex Divorce In Missouri
The fact that Missouri prohibits same sex marriage makes it relatively difficult to get a same sex divorce. Most judges will not consider the request because it treads too closely to the prohibition on same sex marriage. This attitude may be changing though, as evidenced by several recent same sex divorces cleared by Missouri judges.
As of May 2014, two different judges have granted same sex divorces in the state of Missouri. This is encouraging for same sex couples who find they no longer want to be married. However, it is no guarantee that they will get the same treatment should they seek to get a same sex divorce.
For most same sex married couples, it will be necessary to travel out of the state to get a same sex divorce. The fact that most states require several months or more of residency to grant a divorce makes the situation even more difficult for those that wish to end their same sex marriage legally.