Passionate | Experienced | Strategic

Is gay divorce different?

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2022 | Uncategorized

Marriage equality and gay marriage are back in the news again. However, what some may not realize is that same-sex marriage and opposite-sex marriage can have very different endings. Divorce equality may be the law now, but in practice, Bellevue and Kirkland, Washington, gay divorces can look very different from opposite-sex divorces.

Even just getting to a divorce can be different

Opposite-sex divorce is common, very common. There really is not any social stigma associated with it, and neither spouse is seen as a social pariah simply because they are now a divorcee. Indeed, opposite-sex divorce has been normalized throughout society, including within the current media landscape, like in movies, television shows, etc.

This is not the case for many same-sex couples. In fact, many in the LGBTQIA+ community see divorce within their community negatively. Some feel like it is an affront to the decades-long fight for marriage equality. Even the current media landscape is largely silent on same-sex divorce. There is mostly no positive media on it. As such, even getting to the point of divorce can look very different for same-sex couples.

Property can be treated very differently

For Bellevue and Kirkland, Washington, in opposite-sex marriages, the courtship can last months, but often, the marriage only lasts a few years. This means that the marital estate, the one that is split during a divorce, is often a full accounting of the joint assets.

This is not always the case for same-sex couples because gay marriage has only recently been legalized nationally. This means that the short courtship of opposite-sex marriages is not necessarily the norm with same-sex couples. These couples may have lived together for years or decades. This means that the marital estate for these couples is not a full accounting of their joint assets. This will make the property division process much more complicated, and it could result in very disproportionate distributions.

Child custody issues

Finally, Bellevue and Kirkland, Washington, child custody disputes can be vastly different for gay divorcees. This is because the law itself is based on opposite-sex parentage and biology, and that same-sex couples cannot have children without external intervention.

This means that, unless the couple has some sort of premarital or postnuptial agreement, there will be a child custody fight with, perhaps, odd consequences. For example, anecdotally, there are stories of lesbian parents, where the biological or the mom who carried the child receives primary custody simply because of biology.