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Same Sex Divorce May Require More Careful Planning

June 23, 2017

When the United States Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage was entitled to the same considerations under the constitution as heterosexual marriage, that also included the rights of these couples to dissolve a relationship that is no longer viable. However, those considering the process of obtaining a same sex divorce may benefit from careful planning before starting the process. Every state has its own laws regulating divorce, and New York residents can seek more information regarding how this process will work for them.

According to recent statistics, the rate for divorce for older couples has steadily increased. However, the rate for divorce among same sex couples is only about half that for opposite sex couples. In spite of a lower divorce rate, there may still be other considerations for these couples based on the fact that same sex marriage has not been recognized for as long and therefore may not benefit from some of the rules.

Traditionally, the two main concerns for divorcing couples is the division of assets and possible spousal support. Both of these matters are usually decided based on the length of time of the marriage rather than the time the couple has been together in a relationship. The difficulty can arise when these couples have acquired various assets while in a relationship, but not after they were officially married, which could leave one partner suffering financially if they were unable to reach an accord before their case was heard in family court.

One way couples can possibly arrive at an equitable dissolution is by deciding these matters before they enter into a marriage. While one does not usually contemplate the possibility of dissolving a marriage before they decide to wed, doing so may allow each former spouse to maintain a standard of living that they worked hard to achieve. New York couples who are headed for a same sex divorce may elect to consult with a family law attorney who can guide one through the process in as fair a manner as possible.

Source:, “Traversing LGBTQ divorce in new era“, Amanda Brisson Cannavo, June 15, 2017