Same-Sex Marriage/Divorce

Same-sex marriage became legal in Virginia on October 6, 2014. Prior to this historical decision not to review the Fourth Circuit’s ruling that the state’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, state recognition had been prohibited by statute in 1975. Further restrictions were added in 1997 and 2004, which made “void and unenforceable” any arrangements between same-sex couples bestowing the “privileges or obligations of marriage,” and Virginia voters approved a constitutional amendment reinforcing the existing laws in 2006.

Now any couple that has been legally married in another state and lives in Virginia may obtain a divorce in Virginia if they meet the domicile and residency requirements, which arguably means that their rights upon any dissolution of their marriage can be determined just as any other married couple, bringing up issues of support and division of property.

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