In 2018, the Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled on a Knox County same sex divorce case. In the first such ruling in the state, Knox County 4th Circuit Court granted a female the legal rights of a husband/father of the same sex couple’s daughter, who was conceived through artificial insemination.
Erica and Sabrina Witt were one of the first same sex couples to seek a divorce in Tennessee after the June 2015 U. S. Supreme Court ruling recognizing marital rights for same sex couples. Tennessee has a specific law regarding artificial insemination conferring parental rights to a husband and wife. Erica Witt’s attorney argued that the law was unconstitutional subsequent to the Supreme Court ruling and the Knox County 4th Circuit court agreed.
Several state lawmakers sought to intervene in this case and were trying to enact a law that required the Courts give natural meaning to words such as husband and wife. However, the judge denied their motion to intervene and the lawmakers appealed to the Court of Appeals. In a ruling entered on March 27, 2018, the Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s ruling and said the legislators did not have standing to intervene in the divorce case. The Court further held that since the divorce was over, the appeal was moot.
If you have a question about a same sex divorce case, call (865) 685-4780 to schedule a case assessment with Melanie Hogg or another Held Law Firm attorney.