Although couples in Massachusetts understand that both marriage and divorce come with their difficulties, same-sex partners often go through additional obstacles and complexities during these life events. A same sex divorce could prove to be several times more difficult than a heterosexual couple's dissolution. Even after recent changes, the process has yet to be entirely equal in the books and in action.
The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) recently announced that it would now offer insurance coverage and other benefits to those that were previously denied. Specifically, this includes divorced and separated partners who were once in a same sex marriage. Although Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage in the state in 2004, USAA limited insurance eligible based on the provisions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
After DOMA was partially overturned last year, USAA now allows eligibility to the spouses of all married policyholders along with those who are also part of a legal domestic partnership. For same-sex couples this means not only having coverage during their marriages but also possibly maintaining that coverage after a divorce.
Whether it is a same sex divorce or opposite sex divorce, marital assets and benefits are considered in the dissolution process. Specifically, health insurance and other insurance policies could continue long after a divorce if an ex-spouse seeks that in the divorce agreement.
Those going through a same sex divorce and are encountering issues when it comes to marital assets and property distribution should consider seeking independent guidance from an experienced family law attorney. This helps ensure they understand their options while also protecting their rights and interests.
Source: WCVB, "USAA covers Mass. same-sex spouses earlier denied," Jan. 4, 2014