To understand what a divorce precedent is, we have to look at the precedents definition.
The precedents definition is:
Divorce precedents are rules established in previous divorce cases.
These rules are used to decide the outcomes of future divorce cases with similar legal issues.
It is believed that divorce precedents ensure that people with similar situations are treated equally.
Meaning that judges cannot show favor to some divorce cases and not others.
Sometimes the legal issues in a divorce are not similar to previous cases.
In this case, the previous cases cannot be used as divorce precedents.
Let’s talk about an example of divorce precedents.
This is a case regarding Obergefell and his partner, John.
They lived in Ohio where same-sex marriage was banned at the time.
Obergefell was terminally ill at the time.
They wanted to get married before Obergefell passed away.
They drove to Maryland, where same-sex marriage was legal, and got married.
When Obergefell passed away, Ohio maintained the ban on same-sex marriage.
They would not recognize John as Obergefell’s surviving spouse on the death certificate.
John sued state officials who were responsible for enforcing the ban on him.
The Supreme Court found that:
The defending attorney used a divorce precedent to argue his case.
The divorce precedent was Loving v Virginia in 1967.
This divorce precedent eliminated the ban on interracial marriages.
The defense attorney argued that the divorce precedent had progressed towards greater recognition of rights.
There were four main principles and traditions that the family law attorney cited:
Another divorce precedent that the attorney used was the Equal Protection Clause.
This states that same-sex couples are entitled to the same state benefits that opposite-sex couples have.
Divorce precedents are outcomes from old cases that lawyers use to fight their cases.
They use these divorce precedents to fight against or for what the issues are in court.