Same-sex marriage is legal here in Maryland, but until very recently, neighboring Pennsylvania did not extend full legal protections to every couple. Now, divorce between same-sex couples is the next inevitable legal challenge those couples will face. In fact, there has already been a divorce petition filed in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. It happened last month and represented the first of its kind in the pantheon of same-sex nuptials.
According to one mediator and certified divorce financial analyst, same-sex couples can expect to have the same experience during the dissolution of their marriages as their more traditional counterparts. That means same-sex couples are going to have to endure similar fights over the division of assets and property.
Splitting up wealth has always been a staple of more traditional divorces, but the expert says that there will be a learning curve for many same-sex couples. There will be more to fight over now that divorce laws extend fully to both parties regarding assets and property. For example, a family law judge will be looking to strike a fair balance when considering whether a party is eligible to receive spousal support from the other; something that would have never been countenanced prior to same-sex marriage.
Of course, not all divorces are contentious battles. The time-honored practice in Maryland of alternative dispute resolution may allow same-sex couples to split amicably while ensuring that both sides get a reasonable amount of the marital wealth. Additionally, if children are involved during a same-sex divorce, then there will also be decisions made regarding custody, visitation and support. An experienced family law attorney knowledgeable in the finer nuances of Maryland family law can assist divorcing same-sex couples in taking the next step in living their separate lives.
Source: CBS Philly, "Getting A Handle On Same Sex Divorce In Pennsylvania" Brad Segall, Jun. 09, 2014