How Hawaii is handling gay divorces

A lesbian couple filing for divorce highlights the need for comprehensive changes in all states’ official proceedings once they legalize gay marriage

How Hawaii is handling gay divorces
03 January 2014

Two weeks after Hawaii legalized gay marriage, a lesbian couple filed for divorce.

Divorce attorney Gavin Doi told KHON 2 local news he received a call last month from a lesbian couple who wished to end their partnership.

The couple lives in Hawaii but married on the mainland in 2012.

Since Hawaii legalized gay marriage 2 December 2013, same-sex couples can also now file for divorce.

For the most part, same-sex couples can not file for divorce in states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage. States like Arizona and Wyoming do not recognize same-sex marriage but will process gay divorce.

‘I was a little surprised. I guess we would have expected it at some point. I just didn’t expect it that quickly,’ said Doi in an interview.

Though hundreds of same-sex couples have married in Hawaii in the weeks following the legalization of gay marriage, the state has yet to update the filing procedure for gay divorces.

‘There are a lot of forms that look like they’re not ready for same-sex marriage,’ said Doi.

‘Just in terms of the labeling because a lot of the forms still say husband and wife, mother or father.’

A representative from Hawaii’s court system told KHON 2 they were in the process of updating all the forms.

Currently, same-sex couples filing for divorce can cross out ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ and instead use ‘plaintiff’ and ‘defendant’.
 

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