Which is more important – equitable division or equitable rights?
Thousands of Maryland residents deal with the various aspects of divorce every day. Some are in the midst of the proceedings, where courtroom battles take place over determining the amount of child support, deciding child custody arrangements and coming to an agreement on property division that results in an equitable division of the marital property. While every divorce is different, many of the same factors are present across the board. Will this be the case with gay couples who seek a divorce?
A recent article highlighted some of the concerns that gay couples may need to plan ahead for when considering divorce. As most of our readers know, Maryland has joined the select few other states that recognize gay marriage. But in America, there can’t be provisions for marriage without provisions for divorce. As stated in the recent article, gay couples may face more complications if the decision is made to end the marriage.
The biggest problem is the different laws between the states. For instance, if a gay couple gets married in Maryland, where gay marriage is recognized, and then the couple moves to, say, Indiana, where gay marriage is not recognized, they will not likely be able to go through that state’s divorce proceedings. That is when the main concern becomes what options are available.
Some gay couples will move to another state that recognizes gay marriage in order to obtain a divorce. But, even if that type of drastic actions is taken, most states require an individual to be a state resident for a minimum amount of time – often at least six months – before they can file for divorce in that state’s courts. It is obvious that the issues for gay couples contemplating divorce may just be beginning, even as the celebration of the recognition of the right to marry is still young.
Source: NBC News, “Gay divorce: It may not be as easy as the marriage,” Judith Messina, Oct. 16, 2013