On June 26, the Supreme Court of the United States, in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, struck down every law that prohibited same-sex marriage in any of the fifty states. Since Marbury v. Madison in 1803, the Supreme Court has handed down landmark rulings that have changed the United States. The court has ruled on slavery, contraception, public school integration, and abortion. Like Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade, the Obergefell decision will be discussed in history texts for decades into the future. If you are marrying in or near the Fresno area – and without regard to your gender – you can get advice regarding prenuptial agreements, postnuptial agreements, adoption, and any other matter of family law by speaking promptly with an experienced Fresno child custody attorney.

In Obergefell, the Supreme Court pointed out that the institution of marriage has evolved over time. At one time marriages were arranged by parents. Wives have sometimes been considered the “property” of husbands. Divorce has a long history too, but only in the last half-century is there no longer a stigma attached to divorce. The Supreme Court based its ruling in Obergefell on the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which says “no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” In the simplest terms, what the court’s ruling means is this: a state is required to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state. That’s it.

Will divorce rates rise among same-sex couples to the level of opposite-sex couples? Only time will tell. For now, if you have any questions or concerns regarding marriage or divorce, prenups, adoptions, or any other matters of family law – or if you are involved in a divorce or anticipating divorce – get the help and advice you need by contacting an experienced Fresno family law attorney as quickly as possible.