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Same-sex marriage -- same legal issues

The old adage "The more things change, they more they stay the same" can certainly be said of the looming change in Minnesota now that its governor has signed the state's controversial same-sex marriage bill.

Same-sex marriages in Minnesota will inevitably join the already imperfect world of traditional marriages where divorce and property division all too often become issues as a legal union finds itself in trouble.

While 11 other states have already legalized same-sex marriage, it is likely that Minnesota will have its own inevitable growing pains after the law takes effect. While August 1 is the target date for the new law to formally kick off, the usual round of court challenges is expected in the eleventh hour. It is largely expected that the challenges will fail.

Furthermore, the usual legal dynamics may have other states recognizing same-sex marriages performed here and Minnesota will certainly be sanctioning same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

Up to 10,000 same-sex couples will be eligible to marry in Minnesota. Additionally, as dictated by experience, hundreds of same-sex couples from around the country will visit or relocate to Minnesota to marry.

And, of course, these same-sex couples will marry, adopt and raise children -- and divorce.

As Minnesota becomes the 12th state to allow for same-sex marriage, other states are waiting in the wings, including, California, New Jersey, Illinois, Oregon and perhaps Colorado.

One thing is for sure -- family law practitioners in Minnesota will be seeing same-sex couples sitting in the waiting room. Business as usual.

Source: Twin Cities Daily Planet, "The day after reform: What happens now that same-sex marriage is legal in Minnesota?" David Schultz, May. 16, 2013

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