It wasn’t all that long ago that same-sex couples were not even allowed to legally marry in much of the United States. That seems nearly unfathomable now, but laws and public perceptions have shifted rapidly.
But what about same-sex divorce? If same-sex couples get divorced, do they have the same rights as their opposite-sex peers?
All legal rights now extend to all couples
In short, yes, same-sex couples have the same rights as opposite-sex couples. The changes to the law have made it so that they can get divorced in any state, for instance, no matter where they got married. They have the same things to consider, from asset division to child custody. In many ways, the process is identical, and there are no longer legal barriers.
That being said, same-sex couples may face some differences. It can be hard to determine when the sharing of their assets began as a couple, for instance, if they weren’t allowed to marry when they first joined their lives together. They may have started other formal relationships, like domestic partnerships, instead of getting married. Some of those formal relationships must be handled separately from a divorce.
Another issue is that they may not be entirely sure how custody rights work if one parent is a biological parent and the other is not. Maybe they used in-vitro fertilization during their marriage, and then one partner gave birth. What rights does the other spouse have to see that child after the marriage?
Things can still get complicated for a same-sex divorce
So, while the right to a divorce certainly exists, that doesn’t mean things won’t get complicated. They absolutely can. When they do, these couples must know all of the legal options at their disposal.