Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Same-sex Couples Marriage Rights

The Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments today on marriage laws, which could lead to a wide array of outcomes, from essentially leaving in place the traditional marriage laws to proclaiming same-sex marriage is a fundamental right under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

According to the Pew Research Center‘s poll on public opinion of same-sex marriage in the United States, most recent polls show a slight majority support for the the legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Support for same-sex marriages has increased steadily for more than a decade. In August of 2010, a CNN poll became the first national poll to show majority support for same-sex marriage, with many subsequent polls following suit.

Tuesday’s arguments will be over California’s Proposition 8. The case, Hollingsworth v. Perry has its genesis in 2004 when a group of gay couples went to the San Francisco courthouse in search of marriage licenses. They were turned down by the city government, so they sued in state court, ultimately winning in the California Supreme Court. That court decision prompted supporters of 'traditional' marriage to sponsor a statewide ballot measure, Proposition 8, which defined marriage narrowly as a relationship between one man and one woman. Voters approved Proposition 8 in 2008. The Supreme Court could uphold Proposition 8 or, conversely, it could decide to not only strike it down, but to invalidate any state law that limits marriage to one man and one woman. In the alternative, the Supreme Court could issue a limited ruling that applies only to California and several other states which allow domestic partnerships that are almost identical to marriage in all but name.

In a separate oral argument, expected Wednesday, the court will hear oral arguments in a challenge to one section of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which for purposes of federal regulations and benefits, defines marriage as “a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife.”

A decision from the Supreme Court is likely by the end of its term sometime in late June.

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Justices Remand for Additional Proceedings on Grandparent Visitation Order

 A mother of a child born out of wedlock allowed her child’s grandfather to have visitation with the child early on in his life.  However, once the mother re-married she began to curtail the visits.  Grandfather intervened and petitioned the Court for grandparent visitation.  The trial court granted the visitation including overnight visitation and a summer family vacation.  The appeals court affirmed this ruling and the trial court’s decision went to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court sent the case back to trial court for new findings and conclusions without hearing new evidence.  Review the Supreme Court’s reasoning by checking out the article at http://www.theindianalawyer.com/justices-remand-for-more-proceedings-on-grandparent-visitation-order/PARAMS/article/30920.

If you are considering a divorce, currently face a divorce, or if you are a grandparent seeking visitation of your grandchild, it is a good idea to discuss your situation with a Hollingsworth & Zivitz, PC family law attorney. Hollingsworth & Zivitz, PC serves clients in the greater Indianapolis area including Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, Noblesville, and Hamilton County, as well as Zionsville, Avon, Brownsburg, and the counties surrounding Marion County.

To discuss your divorce or family law issue with a Hollingsworth & Zivitz, PC attorney, call 317.DIVORCE or click here to contact us online.