Experienced Family Law Attorneys For You

How does same-sex divorce differ from heterosexual divorce?

When gay marriage became legal, it only took laws out of the books pertaining to making such marriage illegal. It did not make changes to existing laws, including divorce laws.

The reality now for many same-sex couples looking to end their marriage is that these divorce laws are not one-size-fits-all. They may not cover specific situations that apply only in a same-sex situation.

Property division

One of the areas that will have the most issues is property division. According to The Street, divorce laws only recognize property rights from the time of marriage, which can be problematic for same-sex couples. These people may have been in marriage-like relationships for much longer than they have legally been recognized as married because they did not have the right to marry previously.

The law may see certain property as belonging only to one party, but it may be something the couple obtained together while in a committed relationship. It can be tricky for the courts because the law does not account for such a situation.


Another area of concern is child custody. Same-sex couples often have a situation where one parent is biologically related to the children, and the other is not. If there are no specific legal documents pertaining to the children, it can be hard for the nonbiological parent to get parental rights. The law only recognizes rights when there is a biological or adoptive connection.

Same-sex couples can anticipate issues with a future divorce and create a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. They can also make sure they follow through on adoptions for children. In any situation, though, it is important to recognize the law may make the process of divorce a little tricky.



RSS Feed

FindLaw Network