Ban on Same-Sex Marriages Causes Problems for Divorce - 8 News NOW

Ban on Same-Sex Marriages Causes Problems for Same-Sex Divorce

Posted: Updated:
Vivian Wright speaking at Freedom Nevada rally Vivian Wright speaking at Freedom Nevada rally

LAS VEGAS -- Several groups in Nevada launched a push Thursday to persuade lawmakers and voters to reverse Nevada's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

The Freedom Nevada effort will push for a vote in the Legislature in 2015 and a vote by Nevada residents in 2016 to allow same-sex marriages in the state.

Groups Organizing Nevada Gay Marriage Ballot Push

While many same-sex couples across the state are anxious to wed, some are struggling to divorce.

One woman says she has been trying to divorce her former partner for three years and it has cost her nearly $70,000.

The state doesn't recognize same-sex marriage. So trying to divorce in Nevada is problematic both emotionally and financially.

The stress of ending what was a decade-long relationship is troubling for Vivian Wright.

"It is very difficult like any divorce would be," Wright said, "It has been just riddled with tension and strife and the financial burden,."

A financial burden so big that her legal tab is more than $67,000. Legal experts say the average divorce can run between $10,000 and $15,000.

Because Nevada doesn't recognize same-sex marriage, some Clark County judges won't grant them a divorce, which leads to more court appearances, more motions, and the legal fees grow.

"We are caught in that limbo," Wright said.

Like many other couples, Wright and her former partner married in Canada years ago. Other couples went to states like California or New York to be wed, possibly without considering the legal consequences.

Family court attorney Jim Davis says he has seen this time and time again.

"A lot of folks from Clark County ran up to just over the state line and got married. And now, are those marriages valid?" Davis said.

For years, Canada required people to live there for months at a time in order to divorce. Now, authorities in the country will grant an uncontested divorce, but they can't divide up any property or decide custody rights for children that resulted from those unions. So contentious divorces, like Wright's, cannot be completed there.

"There should be natural, legal remedies to dissolve that relationship that has gone wrong with people who aren't wishing to be together," Wright said.

As Wright tries to live life with her new love, Jill, she remains a married woman at least on paper.

Clark County Family Court still doesn't have a clear-cut policy when it comes to same-sex divorce, because the law keeps changing it is still dealing with gay and lesbian divorces on a case-by-case basis.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.