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How same-sex couples will be affected by new laws

Photo of Karen Lavin


Even though Illinois has been one of the states at the forefront of allowing same-sex couples to legally marry, the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to extend the right to marry across the entire country carries with it certain ramifications that must be understood. Bearing in mind the potential changes that the ruling makes, there are certain issues that have to be considered. With a conventional divorce, there are laws in place as to how the process goes. The same will be true for same-sex divorce.

Studies have shown that the number of same-sex couples who have ended their unions - whether it was a marriage or a partnership that was not legally recognized - is similar to that of opposite sex couples. As same-sex couples marry and realize that their unions are legally recognized across the nation, it is inevitable that some of these couples will choose to end their union and divorce. Such issues as child custody can be complicated because in many instances, there is only one member of the couple who is biologically linked to the child. If both parents were granted custody, it can be a difficult issue to navigate.

With heterosexual couples, federal law provides them with more than 1,300 privileges that same-sex couples do not currently have. As the new circumstances are put into law across the country, federal taxes, medical benefits and other issues will come to the forefront as to how they are allocated. With states having to acknowledge same-sex couples, it will need to be uniform for all. Assets and property division will be the least of the problems that courts will need to deal with when it comes to same-sex couples whose marriage was previously not recognized, but now is and now has a divorce on the docket.

With a same-sex or heterosexual couple, it is common for there to be conflict. Sometimes it will cause the couple to get a divorce. When a same-sex marriage grows so difficult that the couple wishes to end it, it is imperative to have legal help in going forward with the process. Discussing the matter with a legal professional can help to understand a same-sex divorce.

Source: Fox Business, "Will Gay Divorce be Different from Traditional Divorce?," Kristin Bianco, July 22, 2015

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