BY CANDY PARKER
A lesbian couple in Alabama was denied a divorce last week because their home state doesn’t recognize their Iowa-sanctioned marriage.
In a one sentence ruling, Circuit Judge Karen Hall said Michelle Richmond and Kirsten Allysse Richmond can’t get a divorce in Alabama because they had no way to ask for one “pursuant to the laws of this State.”
The couple was married in Iowa in 2012 and is seeking an uncontested divorce in Alabama.
In a statement provided to The Huntsville Times, the couple’s lawyer said he would file an appeal.
“I have a lot of faith in the court system, I have a lot of faith in Judge Karen Hall and I believe she ruled the only way she is able to given the current state of the law in Alabama,” attorney Patrick Hill told the Times. “It’s my intention to pursue this as far as I can to see to it that the law that prevents my client from getting a divorce is reversed, and the divorce case is given back to Judge Hall.”
Another option for the couple is to obtain the divorce in the state in which it was granted, Iowa. However, as is the case for most states, Iowa law requires that one or both parties in a marriage live in the state for a certain amount of time before a divorce can be granted. At 12 months, the residency period for Iowa is among the longest in the country.
That means at least one of the Richmonds would have to move back to Iowa and live there for a full year before they could be divorced.