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Same-Sex Divorce: Far From EqualWhile many advancements have been made for same-sex couples in the last year, there are two that are still a long way off, and short of a US Supreme Court decision, they may never actually happen.

First, most states still do not accept same-sex marriage or recognize them in any way. While a recent Gallup poll revealed that approximately 52 percent of the country would vote for it if an election were held today, most states are still firmly entrenched in traditional marriage, and the Prop 8 ruling was, in many ways, a victory for states that have voted to define marriage between one man and one woman, because the US Supreme Court left A LOT in the hands of the state, basically stating that federal courts had no grounds to rule on such matters.

Secondly, because most states do not recognize or allow same-sex marriage, they also do not recognize or allow same-sex divorce, and this creates significant extra costs and hassle to same-sex spouses looking to go their separate ways, even in cases of online divorce.

Here are just a few of the challenges they face:

Relocating Just For The Divorce

Say a same-sex couple were married in Massachusetts, but have since taken jobs in Arkansas, where their union is not recognized or allowed. Instead of being allowed to get a divorce where they are, they could be forced to briefly relocate to the state in which they were married just so they can finalize the divorce papers.

Only Having Shared Property Recognized From The Date Of Marriage

Same-sex marriage did not exist in a governmentally-recognized way until this century. While a traditionally married couple might have been together 40 years as husband and wife, and thus, had their shared property and assets recognized, courts would not give the same consideration to a same-sex couple that has been together 40 years but only married three. At least, that would be up to the discretion of the judge, thus putting one partner in the position of having something he should be rightfully entitled to diminished in the eyes of the law.

Encountering More Costs

According to New York-based family law attorney Carolyn Satenberg, who works with a number of same-sex couples filing for divorce, the cost of a same-sex divorce can be significantly higher than traditional divorce. Satenberg told she had seen heterosexual divorce typically cost $10,000; meanwhile, Margaret Wenig, a gay woman, who’d actually been through a divorce, said hers cost in the neighborhood of $120,000.

Gay couples still have more to think about when it comes to tying the knot, including what might happen if the marriage goes south. There certainly appears to be more at stake financially. Do you foresee same-sex divorce catching up in equality during the years ahead?

One thought on “Same-Sex Divorce: Far From Equal

  1. Jacob Wadsworth

    Same-sex marriage then is more of a burden than a benefit for both couples because when problems arise they will have a hard time divorcing. Better that these couples don’t marry at all but just live together as they wish to prevent hassles and extra expenses.


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