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Same-sex divorce: obstacles in the law

In most cases, a couple in any area of the United States can file for divorce through typical legal procedures. If a same-sex couple files the same paperwork for dissolution, the result can come with strings attached. That is the case in California, where even though same-sex marriage has been legal since 2008, same-sex couples suffer negative repercussions upon divorcing.

According to an article on CNBC, gay couples experience higher costs and other expenses when filing for divorce than different-sex couples. One of the driving factors behind this issue is that many gay couples have been together for years before being able to marry, and most courtrooms will only divide assets starting from the actual time of marriage. This obstacle in the law also poses a clear problem when it comes to merging finances, pensions beneficiaries, life insurance policies and wills. Generally, the cost for divorce ranges from state to state, but for same-sex marriages, additional burdens arise. Gay couples who want divorces in states that have not legalized same-sex marriage must travel to ones that have, or they may often run into issues due to subjective decisions to grant for divorce.

The divorce process for same-sex couples may still be problematic in most states, but many officials are working toward resolving this loop in the law. The American Civil Liberties Union states that the only state other than California in which same-sex married couples have a clearly established right to divorce is Massachusetts. However, different residency requirements apply to those seeking divorce in these states. States that have civil unions or domestic partnerships may also allow same-sex couples to divorce.      




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