On June 26, gay and lesbian couples across American rejoiced as the Supreme Court legalized marriage for same-sex couples. While many couples are now rushing to get married — an event that many had anticipated for years or even decades — not all couples will stay together forever. Like heterosexual couples, many same-sex couples in Minnesota will eventually divorce, which means that family law attorneys now need to start preparing for this inevitable situation.
Many states had already legalized gay marriage before the groundbreaking decision last month. Statistics from those states show that 1.6 percent of those marriages had ended in divorce annually. For heterosexual marriages, the dissolution rate is two percent.
However, many same-sex couples became unable to end their marriages because they moved to a different state — one that did not support gay marriage — and could not legally divorce. In addition, many law firms were unprepared to handle gay divorces. But now, there are many law firms who are open-minded and willing to learn about the LGBT community and the issues they face. In fact, many of these lawyers are in same-sex relationships themselves and have been for many years, so they are compassionate toward the needs of their clients.
Same-sex divorce is still relatively new to many people, but like a heterosexual divorce, it comes with strong emotions. Nobody wants their marriage to end, but sometimes it happens. People change and couples grow apart. Finances, adultery and other issues get in the way. Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples can protect themselves and their assets with prenuptial agreements and by understanding their legal options when it comes time to end their marriage.
Source: Philly.com, “And now, welcome to same-sex divorce,” Erin Edinger-Turoff, July 16, 2015