A complex and unique case is being presented to an Arizona court. The court must decide whether a transgender man’s marriage is valid. This complicated family law case involves the infamous “pregnant man.” Although he was born as a woman in Hawaii, he subsequently had his sex changed. However, he still possessed his female organs when he married his wife. When his wife was unable to conceive, he bore three children who are being raised by the pair.
Now, an Arizona court must determine whether the man’s marriage which took place in Hawaii, where it is valid, is also valid in the state of Arizona. The key difference between the two states is that Hawaii recognizes him as a man, and therefore, determined the marriage to be valid.
However, Arizona does not recognize him as a man because he still had his female reproductive organs at the time of his marriage. Additionally, Arizona does not allow same-sex marriage. Thus, even if he was determined to legally be a woman, the marriage still would not be valid.
Interestingly, in the unlikely event that he prevails and the marriage is recognized as a valid one, he will have to provide spousal support to his former wife which he would not have to do if they were determined to be an unmarried couple. As there are three minor children involved, the court will also need to address the issues of child custody, visitation rights and child support even if the marriage is not legally recognized by the state of Arizona.
Source: New York Daily News, “‘Pregnant man’ wants divorce, but Ariz. doubts marriage,” Anthony Bartkewicz, August 16, 2012