North Carolina Divorces Dropped After Marriage Equality Ruling*

North Carolina Divorces Dropped After Marriage Equality Ruling*

Divorces in North Carolina hit a 25-year-low in 2014, the same year a U.S. District Court tossed aside the state’s voter-approved same-sex marriage ban. In 2012, there were 36,326 divorces in the state, but the number fell to 33,797 in 2014, according to LGBT publication QNotes.

The statistics are noteworthy because same-sex marriage opponents claimed for years that allowing gays and lesbians to marry would somehow harm straight marriages. On the other hand, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality in June 2015, some conservatives claimed the decision was a big win for individual liberty.

No matter one’s political beliefs, numbers provided by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services show that significantly fewer marriages ended in the state after marriage equality became the law of the land. However, that doesn’t mean some portions of the state aren’t still struggling with the concept. At least one county has had to bring in officials from elsewhere to perform same-sex marriages due to North Carolina’s religious exemption law, which allows state magistrates to recuse themselves from performing marriages that run against their religious beliefs.

While divorces have declined recently, thousands of North Carolina couples still face this difficult life event each year. A person who is facing the end of a marriage will often have to deal with several issues that can be complex, including property division and child custody. In many cases, a family law attorney can be of assistance in negotiating a settlement agreement that covers these and other applicable matters.

Source: FOX News, “The conservative case for gay marriage,” Richard Grenell, June 26, 2015

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