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Same sex divorce poses some unique challenges

Thousands of couples have gotten married since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2015. This afforded couples to have the same legal protections as heterosexual marriages, including tax benefits from joint filing, access to employee benefits as well as the power to make critical medical decisions. As with heterosexual unions, however, some same-sex couples have found that marriage was not the right decision.

Getting married was the easy part

These couples may then find that getting married was comparatively easy compared to filing for divorce. Some unique and potentially complicated challenges include:

  • Many years of cohabitation: While the marriage lasted a few years, the committed relationship may have lasted decades before the wedding. This may mean that marital assets are not accurately defined.
  • Biological parents: The issues regarding biological parentage should not affect the relationship or role a parent has with their child, but this can be an area of dispute if one parent gave birth or provided sperm.
  • Donor and insemination contracts: These may have been drafted before or during the marriage and still may need to be addressed if one parent wishes to have more children.

A plan that works for children and parents

While the well-being of the children should be the priority in any divorce, parents’ legal rights, as well as their schedules, also need to be considered. Ideally, these matters can be handled using such alternative dispute resolution techniques as mediation. This approach is generally less stressful and more economical than court, but litigation in same-sex divorce is still an option.

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