Same-Sex Marriage Comes to North Carolina

Same-sex couples all over North Carolina are rushing to their local Register of Deeds, filling out licenses, paying the fee and getting married.  It’s a thrilling time for these couples, and an uncertain time for the law.

After the Western District of North Carolina issued its Memorandum of Decision and Order in complaint filing fee in General Synod of the United Church of Christ v. Resigner, marriages became legal in Raleigh, Asheville and Greensboro. Today, more marriages are occurring.

The effect of General Synod could cause sweeping changes to North Carolina’s family law and estate laws.  There are several different areas of family law that will be or could be affected, including: parentage, adoptions, divorce, domestic violence, custody, and child support.  For example, when two parties are married and a child is born to the union, the child is presumed to be the child of the husband.  North Carolina law has trended toward gender neutrality, but the biological impossibility of two same-sex parents being the genetic parents of a child does not seem to meet the reasoning behind the presumption.  It’s one of the many parts of family law that will be challenged and perhaps changed.

Check back with the blog in the upcoming weeks as we look at how North Carolina family law could change.