Same-Sex Marriage & Same-Sex Divorce In Indiana - 2014 Indiana Divorce Law
'Mountains have been moved' and at this point it is very clear that same-sex marriage is legal in Indiana, thus it follows that same-sex divorce is a reality. How this is going to shape Indiana family law remains to be seen, but in general terms all rights, benefits and obligations applying to opposite- sex spouses and parents will be available and required by same-sex spouses and parents.
Governor Pence has issued the following advisory to State agencies and counsel:
To executive branch agency heads and select general counsels:
The Supreme Court of the United States denied Indiana’s petition to review the 7th Circuit Court of Appeal’s affirmation of the United States District Court’s ruling(s) invalidating IC 31-11-1-1 (a) and (b). Today the 7th Circuit lifted the stay of the District Court’s injunction prohibiting enforcement of Indiana’s statutory ban on same sex marriages.
To ensure that all Indiana executive branch agencies are operating with a common understanding of the law and pursuant to the same management guidance, I issue the following explanation and instructions effective today.
No executive branch agency may deny any state benefit or recognition otherwise available or provided to a married individual because that individual is married to a person of the same sex, whether that individual was married in Indiana or another jurisdiction. Executive branch agencies are to recognize same sex marriages in the same manner as they recognize heterosexual marriages.
All executive branch agencies must take whatever actions are necessary to implement any processes required to comply with the court’s order.
I recognize that every agency operates under different sets of laws, forms, approvals and requirements. You, your general counsels and staff know those better than I. The direction is for each agency to look at its own processes and make changes to implement the law and recognize same sex marriages. If you have any implementation or administrative problems, please call your agency contact in the Governor’s office, or me, if we can help.
Mark G. Ahearn
General Counsel to Indiana Governor Mike Pence
The Indiana Law Blog published this letter and has covered this topic as it has developed.
Looking forward to how this mandate impacts Indiana custody and parenting time law. For information as to how Indiana law has dealt with same-sex parents in the past, please see this posting.