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Divorce not so easy for same-sex couples

As same-sex marriage becomes a reality in New Jersey, many couples who are looking to take their vows may want to consider other legal issues regarding same-sex couples. According to a recent article, family law challenges such as divorce may be more difficult for same-sex couples than a person may expect.

The article focuses on the stories of different same-sex couples as they struggle with divorce. One Florida couple, who had flown to Massachusetts to get married, is unable to pursue a divorce in their home state. The two women are currently involved in separate relationships but must still claim each other on their federal taxes. In order to obtain that divorce, one member of the couple will have to move to Massachusetts for six months to a year.

Another potential pitfall for same-sex couples can surface in child custody disputes. For example, some states only provide custodial rights to the biological or adoptive parent. In the divorce proceedings, the biological or adoptive parent can completely separate the child from the other parent or the parent with no legal obligation to the child may choose to leave without providing any child support.

Divorce and marriage can be complicated, and those complications can be exacerbated by conflicting federal and state laws in the case of same-sex couples. A family law attorney may be able to assist individuals with many of these complex legal problems. That attorney may be able to help individuals looking to get married by helping them draft a prenuptial agreement or assist couples looking for a divorce by advising them on child custody issues.

Source: The Daily Beast, "The gay divorce trap: when same-sex marriage goes wrong", Lizzie Crocker, September 30, 2013

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