Arkansas’ Supreme Court on Thursday denied a request from a couple to file for divorce after their legal battle over their marriage ended in divorce.
Attorney Jim and Carol McGovern filed for divorce in October, arguing that the state’s divorce law discriminates against married couples.
The couple, who have three children, have been living separately for more than a year and have been together for about a decade.
Advocates for the McGoverns say the law discriminateth against married people and that it has harmed the couple financially.
The court’s denial of the request came days after the state Supreme Court ruled that a divorced couple can file for a divorce.
The McGovern’s attorneys said in a statement they hope the Supreme Court will consider a petition from a divorced woman that was filed on Nov. 17.
The woman, who is now a lawyer in Arkansas, asked the court to hear a petition filed by her husband, a divorced father of two who is a lawyer.
She wants the court “to hear her claim that the law is discriminatory against the McGladdens,” the lawyers said in the statement.
Arkansas’ law, known as the “three-way divorce” was passed in 1973.
The state allows for two marriages to be dissolved if one spouse has been convicted of a crime and the other has been sentenced to a prison term.
The former spouse can seek a divorce under the state law if the other is in prison.
The McGladens were married for about 20 years before the case was filed.
They met when they were both attending school in Arkansas.
They are now separated and live in different cities.
The case is the latest to draw attention to Arkansas’ “three way” divorce law.
In January, a judge in Oklahoma dismissed a lawsuit brought by a married couple who sued the state for denying them the right to divorce after they filed for a new marriage.
In the McGaddens’ case, the couple asked for a ruling by the state on the constitutionality of the law.
A judge in the same case in May said that the plaintiffs had a valid claim under the three-way law and that the court should grant the request.