Same-sex couples face divorce challenges

Divorce can be a daunting prospect, no matter the gender of the spouses. However, when same-sex couples in Massachusetts decide to divorce, they face a set of challenges that heterosexual couples do not. Chief among these are concerns that arise when a same-sex couple resides in a state in which their marriage is not legally recognized.

In such cases, spouses are left with little choice in regard to filing for divorce. In some cases they are able to return to the state in which they were married and complete the divorce process there. There is also the possibility of filing for divorce in the state of residence, then waiting to see how the court will handle that action.

However, these options presume that both spouses are willing to work together to reach an amicable end to their marriage. When one spouse does not want to ease the process, additional legal issues can arise. One example lies in a challenge by one spouse in regard to jurisdiction. Such a legal challenge could put the brakes on a divorce filing, making it incredibly difficult and expensive for all involved.

As the Supreme Court hears two landmark cases on gay marriage, many are advocating for equal rights to divorce. The American social landscape is changing, and more and more states are acknowledging the rights of gay couples to wed and establish a legal family. It is essential that the law in Massachusetts and elsewhere keep pace with such changes, and address these and other issues surrounding gay divorce.

Source:, “Same-Sex Couples Battle For Divorce Equality,” March 22, 2013

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