Our country has made great strides in the acceptance of gay marriage. There are now 13 states, including the District of Columbia, that allow same-sex marriage. Rhode Island is one of these 13. However, with progress can also come hidden complications. Homosexual couples, just like heterosexual couples, know that marriage is ideally a lifetime commitment. However, in our society divorce is more prominent than ever and gay couples can face even more challenges than their straight counterparts when ending their marriage.
If a couple resides in a state that does not recognize gay marriage, the couple will be unable to attain a divorce in that state. If the couple is residing in a state that recognizes gay marriage, the requirements and waiting period can still be very onerous. One thing gay and lesbian couples can do prior to marriage is to write a prenuptial agreement that settles financial and property matters beforehand. This way, couples can begin to move on with part of their lives while the actual divorce is finalized.
There can also be family law issues related to child custody that can come up in same-sex divorces. If the couple decided to have a baby by artificial insemination, then the biological parent would have parental rights and the non-biological spouse would not, unless the non-biological spouse went through the process of legally adopting the child. Adoption is not something every couple thinks of before marriage, but it can definitely become a key issue in the event of a divorce when it comes to child custody.
Separation and divorce issues can be challenging, to say the least. For same-sex couples, it can be an even bigger struggle. However, with the support of experienced family law professionals, the process can be much more manageable and navigable for any couple.
Source: MSN Money, "Gay couples find divorcing has traps," Oct. 17, 2013