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Marriage Equality Equals Divorce Equality for Same Sex Couples

Oct. 3, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality in June of 2015. As a result, same sex couples are entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples — including a divorce. New York was one of the states that allowed same sex couples to wed before the Highest Court’s ruling and has its own laws regarding the process for divorcing couples.

There are countless partners who were already in a committed relationship well before they were granted the right to marry. As a result, it may be more difficult for these couples to reach a satisfactory settlement in the event their relationship ends in dissolution. It has been advised that these couples take the same measures that opposite sex partners have done whenever they have made the decision to formally wed after years together. Two tools that may make a divorce less stressful are the prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements.

Once a couple has established which assets are to be considered jointly held and which are to be excluded from division, half of the battle may be over. Other aspects of separating a household include the same considerations as that of any heterosexual couple, including but not limited to deciding on spousal support, separation of retirement accounts and whether beneficiaries on life insurance and similar assets should be changed. Likewise, matters concerning Social Security benefits and other possible benefits are details that may need to be agreed upon.

Purportedly, same sex couples have a lower divorce rate than heterosexual couples. However, while no one plans to have a marriage end in divorce, it may be prudent to have at least a framework for the financial aspects in place. New York residents who are seeking further information concerning the process of filing for a divorce may find the assistance of an experienced family law attorney to be invaluable.

Source: Time, “How to handle a same sex marriage ending in divorce“, Lili A. Vasileff, Accessed on Oct. 3, 2017