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Same-sex couples can face unique issues during divorce


Over a year has past since Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark case that made same-sex marriage legal across the nation, was made part of American law. However, same-sex couples in Minnesota may face certain issues should they decide to divorce than opposite-sex couples do not.


Some same-sex partners may face the issue of "tacking." Tacking involves adding together both the years the couple spent together prior to marriage with the number of years they were actually married, to determine how long the couple was in a relationship. This issue is often dealt with on a state-by-state basis. If state legislation allows tacking and the couple was together for years prior to Obergefell, but married only for a few years post Obergefell, this could have a significant effect on the property division process and how spousal maintenance is calculated should the couple divorce.

With tacking in mind, it may behoove same-sex couples seeking to marry to first create a prenuptial agreement, in order to protect their financial interests in the event of a divorce. On the other hand, older same-sex couples who have been together for many years and already have a cohabitation agreement may find that cohabiting simply makes more sense for them financially than marriage.

As this shows, there are certain issues same-sex couples face that are unique to them. The right to marry and the right to divorce are important rights, but both need to be given careful thought. A family law attorney in Minnesota can help same-sex couples seeking a prenuptial agreement, a cohabitation agreement or a divorce understand how to appropriately proceed.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Preventing Same-Sex Divorce After the Obergefell Decision," Joslin Davis, June 24, 2016

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