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Same-Sex Divorce in Arkansas: What Does It Mean?

AROUND ARKANSAS --- Bells are ringing this week for same-sex couples, but does the recent ruling also allow gay and lesbian couples to split?
AROUND ARKANSAS --- In Washington County this week, hundreds of people are making the ultimate commitment.   Others are using the recent ruling to break apart.

Janna and Diana Van Winkle were married in Iowa. After five years, the two decided to part ways.
Attorney Betsy Finocchi is handling the divorce case.

"With all the balloons, flowers and crying happy couples getting married up there, we filed for divorce," said Finocchi. "If we recognize same sex marriage here, we should recognize them from other states but there's no way to know for sure. There's no precedent  and who knows what will happen between now and then."

With the recent ruling, how does the law pan out when it comes to same-sex divorce? Finocchi says even the state is unsure of what to do.

"Nobody knows, not even the Attorney Generals office knew. We're just gonna give it a try and see what happens," she said.

If a stay is put in place, everything could change. For now, the couple must wait 30 days to appear before a judge for it all to be finalized.

"If somebody came in my office before Monday and said 'We're a same sex couple, we got married in another state and we wanna get divorced here,' I would have said 'I can't help you because we don't even recognize same sex marriages so we can't grant you a divorce,'" said Finocchi.

Since it's one of the first same-sex divorces in Arkansas, many things are still up in the air.




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