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Same-sex divorce rate proves difficult to calculate

Since the expansion of the right for same-sex couples to be married is a relatively new progression, many people expected there to be some initial difficulties to resolve. One of these difficulties is that the divorce rate amongst same-sex couples is particularly hard to keep track of, often due to the same challenges that same-sex couples face when trying to get a divorce in the first place.

While getting a divorce can be a difficult task no matter who the couple is, there are some additional complications that same-sex couples may need to handle. One of the most significant problems is that both the federal government and many other states throughout the country do not recognize same-sex marriages. This means when a same-sex couple moves out of the state where they were married they may encounter added difficulty in getting a divorce finalized. Some argue this may be driving down the rate of reported same-sex divorces, if only because they are prevented from finalizing their divorces.

Another difficultly presenting itself is the gender specificity of current marriage and divorce forms, which have not yet been updated to recognize the new reality of same-sex marriage. For instance, Massachusetts divorce forms only include spaces for "husband" and "wife." This creates a dilemma in tracking divorces amongst same-sex couples, because the information does not provide enough specificity to gather the needed information.

With the right for same-sex couples to marry expanding in many places throughout the country, it is important to remember that the right to a divorce may be just as significant. Unfortunately, same-sex couples often face additional complications with health insurance, asset division, child custody and tax issues during a divorce. However, by getting the right information these problems may be overcome.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "For Gays, Breaking Up Is Hard to Do -- or Measure," May 3, 2013

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