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Rate of divorce for gay men lower than for lesbians

In California, divorce rates among same-sex married couples have been increasing, which is unsurprising since couples have been legally allowed to marry for eight years in the state. While same-sex divorces comprise a very small percentage of the total number of divorces that are filed in the state, they are steadily increasing as couples have had more time in their marriages and some find that they are incompatible. However, the divorce rates among gay men are much lower than they are among lesbian couples.

Divorce rates for gay men vs. lesbian couples

Researchers in the U.K. analyzed divorce data among same-sex couples between 2014 and 2019 and found that the divorce rate increased each year. Since the U.K. legalized same-sex marriage in 2014, this is not surprising. However, the researchers found that men accounted for a much smaller percentage of divorces than women. In 2019, for example, gay men filed 28% of divorce cases as compared to 72% filed by lesbian women. This disparity was found in each of the preceding years by the researchers.

Why are lesbian couples likelier to file for divorce?

Researchers have a few theories about why lesbian couples are likelier to end their marriages than gay male couples. Among heterosexual married couples, women are also likelier to file petitions for divorce than men. Women also tend to get married faster than gay men and are likelier to have previously been married. Finally, women do not tolerate marital misconduct like adultery as much as men do.

The reasons given for choosing to divorce tend to be the same for both same-sex and heterosexual couples, including infidelity, a lack of communication, differences in handling money, and domestic violence. While fewer divorces are filed by men in gay marriages, some still choose to end their marriages. People who go through same-sex divorces might have to contend with unique issues involving child custody and support, and they might want to discuss their situation with an experienced family law attorney.