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What should you consider when going through a same-sex divorce?

Getting married is an exciting event for couples in Minnesota and elsewhere. Whether it's a straight marriage or same-sex marriage, spouses do not enter into this union with the idea that it will end. Nonetheless, divorces do occur, causing many concerns and challenges for couples. While same-sex couples have been afforded the constitutional right to marriage, this does not mean that their ability to divorce is as easy. In fact, the divorce process has the tendency to be more challenging for same-sex partners when compared to opposite-sex partners.

What should you consider when going through a same-sex divorce? Prior to the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage across the nation, married same-sex couples that moved to a state that did not recognize same-sex unions were unable to get divorced in that state. Although these couples were able to divorce in the states where the marriage was performed, this generated issues regarding residency, as well as with those who had destination weddings.

Even though the Supreme Court ruling legalized same-sex marriage and provided the right to divorce in all states, same-sex couples still face some challenges when attempting to end their union through dissolution. In some cases, same-sex partners entered into a civil union or a domestic partnership instead of marrying because the state they resided in did not recognize same-sex marriage at that time. Similar to these marriages previously not being recognized in all states, these arrangements are not recognized in all states. Thus, it could be difficult to dissolve a civil union or domestic partnership.

While divorce is a taxing time that can take a major toll on spouses, it is a process that can present added challenges to same-sex couples. No matter the length of marriage, cause for divorce it is important to understand the rights afforded to spouses. Doing so could ease the process, helping couples reach a timely and fair resolution.

Source: Findlaw, "Same-Sex Divorce: What You Need to Know," accessed June 4, 2017

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