Every week, without fail, I receive at least a dozen phone calls or e-mails from gay and lesbian couples who do not live in Connecticut, have never lived in Connecticut and never plan to live in Connecticut. In addition to not being residents of the Nutmeg State, each of those couples has one important thing in common: they came to Connecticut to be married.
I should sign up for one of those 900 numbers just to take the hundreds of calls I receive each year asking one important legal question: “If we got married in Connecticut but don’t live there, how do we get divorced?” At $1.99 per minute, I might actually be able to retire while I still have a fully-functioning mind!
I’m sorry to have to keep saying this folks, but unless you live in a state that recognizes gay marriage, you’re stuck. In order for a court to grant you a divorce (or legal separation or annulment), that court must have jurisdiction over you. For purposes of a divorce, the court won’t have jurisdiction unless you are a resident of the state in which you seek your divorce.
Even though I’ve posted on this issue more than once, I continue to get hundreds of calls and e-mails from gay and lesbian couples who want me to give them a different answer. Sorry, there’s no way around it. If you got married in Connecticut and you want to obtain a divorce in Connecticut, you have to reside in Connecticut. Period.
It’s a sad fact of life that not all marriages last. Heterosexual couples don’t have to worry about what happens when their marriages end because they can obtain a divorce in all 50 states. Gay and lesbian couples do not yet have that luxury.
So here are three words of caution to same-sex couples who don’t live in Connecticut but wish to be married in this state:
Don’t do it!
Disclaimer: The information, comments and links posted on the blog do not constitute legal advice. I will not respond to any specific legal questions in the comments section of this blog. Read my entire disclaimer.
copyright 2011 Irene C. Olszewski