Marriage in the United States is evolving. Our Tucson readers see it play out every day on the news headlines, with the debates over gay marriage, constitutional rights and constitutional amendments. But as marriage evolves, so must divorce. All those who are currently fighting for what they view as their "right" to get married would probably do well to mind the statistics, and prepare also for the inevitability that some of those new types of marriage arrangements are likely to end in divorce. And with divorce comes all of the other family law issues associated with the end of a marriage, such as property division, spousal support, child custody disputes and visitation plans. But as the debate rages, sometimes out of control, what other segments of the population might be affected by this "fight for rights"?
One historical - and some would say religiously significant - marriage arrangement is polygamy. In the West, many are familiar with this type of marriage, which involves one man being married to more than one woman - at the same time. Reality television series' like Sister Wives have made this brand of marriage more commonly known, even though polygamy, like gay marriage before it, is outlawed in all 50 states.
So, even before the courts must figure out how to deal with gay marriage and divorce, it appears one court will have to decide the issue of polygamous marriage and divorce first. The stars of Sister Wives have taken their case to court, looking to challenge their state's ban on "plural marriage."
The case is just getting started, and no one is sure where it will end. There are several options the courts could follow, but just as surely as the proponents of gay marriage probably won't be satisfied by anything less than full acceptance, the proponents of polygamous marriage are likely to be equally adamant.
Source: Slate.com, "Kramer vs. Kramer vs. Kramer," Brian Palmer, July 25, 2012