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Is same-sex divorce different from 'traditional' divorce?

As same-sex marriage has become more widely legalized and more common, it has given rise to a natural offshoot of this progression: an increase in same-sex divorce. As such, it's important for people in Massachusetts—one of the first states to legalize same-sex marriage—to know whether or not a same-sex divorce is going to be different than an opposite-sex divorce.

In some areas, things are going to be carried out in a very familiar fashion. When dividing assets, for example, the gender of those involved has no bearing on the process. It tends to look the same with both types of divorces.

When things get complicated is when child custody has to be determined. Much of this is because same-sex couples have different ways to bring children into their lives, such as adoption or In vitro fertilization (IVF).

With the IVF process, the parent who carries the child is biologically related to that child, but the other parent is not. This doesn't usually matter when the two are married, as they raise the child as their own, but it can add complications when a divorce happens. Courts may be more likely to give custody to the biological parent, and that parent may even argue that the child is not the other parent's at all.

Adoption is tricky as well, though it's fair to note that some of the same issues come up with opposite-sex couples who adopt a child. While it may be complicated, IVF is more likely to cause a dispute in many cases.

If you're having disputes while getting divorced, be sure you know all of your legal options.

Source: Fox Business, "Will Gay Divorce be Different from Traditional Divorce?," Kristin Bianco, accessed Jan. 08, 2016

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