The Oct. 6 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear various challenges to court rulings that recognized the right of same-sex couples to marry had major repercussions for the laws of several states, including Virginia. Locally, the Court’s decision essentially upholds a federal judge’s ruling from January that Virginia’s statute and constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage were unconstitutional.
That means that couples who are of the same gender can get married in Virginia, at least for now. By implication, it also arguably means that those same couples can get divorced later on, and that same-sex couples who got married in a state where such marriages were recognized can also divorce in Virginia.
Within days of the Supreme Court declining to hear the appeal to the January ruling, possibly the first same-sex divorce case in the history of Virginia was filed. The couple married in Washington, D.C. in June 2013, but separated in January.
Prior to Oct. 6, the couple could not obtain a divorce in Virginia, where they reside. Now, it appears that they can. It is not clear if they have any children, or how substantial their marital property is. It also remains to be seen if the fact that the spouses are both women will somehow complicate their divorce proceeding, though no particular reasons currently spring to mind.
Each spouse in every divorce case in Virginia is entitled to certain rights, such as an equitable portion of the marital property and, in most cases, visitation time with their children at the minimum.