Same-Sex Couples Now Allowed to Divorce in California

California will now grant divorces to same-sex couples who reside in other states.

The bill was signed into law Oct. 9 by California Governor Jerry Brown and will go into effect January 2012.

The law is meant to solve the quagmire of those were legally married in California before the vote of Proposition 8, which prohibited same-sex marriages, but now live in states that don't recognize them.

There are still many question marks within the legislation, specifically what the criteria is for a divorce in accordance with California law if the spouses reside out of state.

However, for couples who have come to their own private settlement agreement, it will allow them to get a formal divorce.

The measure was taken due to the “domicile rule,” which restricts married couple from getting divorces in states they don't reside in at the time of their split.

Judges in Texas, Oklahoma and Rhode Island have rejected requests of same-sex marriages, deciding to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, a Federal Law which defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. The act was signed into law by President Clinton.

The law also excludes the Internal Revenue Service's recognition of same-sex marriage, which usually grants marriages tax-free alimony.

The bill offers respite for couples married prior to Proposition 8, but the other six states that allow gay marriage have yet to pass a bill similar to California's. New York, Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire permit gay marriages.

New York does allow same-sex marriages to divorce, but they are done on a case-by-case basis. It became the largest recognizing state this summer, when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Marriage Equality Act.

Earlier this year Governor Brown signed a bill making California the first state in the nation to add lessons about gays and lesbians to social studies classes in public schools.