Although the green light was given for same-sex marriages in every state last year, it has been suggested that couples avoid rushing into these marriages purely because they can. The Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. People do not typically consider divorce when they wed, but maybe the possibility should still be considered. Even though Massachusetts formally recognized same-sex marriages in 2004, there may still be some emotional and financial issues unique to a subsequent same-sex divorce.
Not all states address property division and spousal support issues in the same manner when it comes to same-sex divorces. Many of these couples were together for many years — even decades — before the law recognized their right to marry. Assets were accumulated over those years. Before getting married, it makes sense to find out how the laws of a particular state will treat those assets in the event of a divorce. Will the total length of the relationship be taken into consideration by tacking together the non-marital and marital years?
Many same-sex couples had cohabitation agreements to protect themselves. Now that marriage is legal in all 50 states, many who do marry decide to sign a prenuptial agreement. It simply makes good sense to consider applicable financial consequences and tax implications prior to any marriage.
These are important issues. Massachusetts couples may have questions about the potential consequences of a same-sex divorce. Fortunately, they may seek the support of an experienced family law attorney who will be able to answer questions and provide support and guidance.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Preventing Same-Sex Divorce after the Obergefell Decision“, Joslin Davis, June 24, 2016