February 7, 2012 By Paul Wallin

The 9th Circuit Court of appeals has ruled on February 7, 2012 that it is unconstitutional for California to ban same sex marriage. The decision will likely be appealed to the United States Supreme Court. This has been a polarizing issue in the state since 2008, when voters approved the controversial Prop 8 ban on same sex marriage with 52% of the vote. The Supreme Court’s ruling has major implications, not just for gay and lesbian couples, but for California family law attorneys too.

This decision has a major impact on the laws of our state as it relates to the marital rights of all persons. Now that same-sex marriage has been deemed legal this means that same sex couples will have the same rights and responsibilities as all other persons that are married in California.

What this means is that when a same-sex couple decides to divorce there will be issues of child custody, child support, division of assets as in all other dissolution matters.

It will be interesting to monitor this decision and to see if the United States Supreme Court decides to take this case to once and for all determine whether it is legal for any state to vote to ban same sex marriage.

It will likely be a long time before same sex couple are walking down the aisle though. It is expected that Proposition 8 sponsors will appeal the decision to a larger panel of the court and likely will appeal all the way to the US Supreme court. Until all appeals are exhausted, California will keep same sex marriage on hold.

We will keep you posted on all developments as they develop

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