Getting a gray divorce as a gay couple is something that is relatively new. Since same-sex marriages have only been legal for around two years, traversing a divorce as an older same-sex couple may be new territory for many.
Around 1.1 percent of same-sex couples end up getting a divorce. However, the number of people getting a divorce as they age is growing. In 1990, for instance, only five couples out of 1,000 between the ages of 51 and 69 got a divorce. In 2015, that number jumped to 10 per 1,000.
Is there really a difference when it comes to being in a same-sex relationship and getting a divorce?
In some ways, yes. Many of these individuals have been in a relationship for a long period of time, even though marriage was not legal. It would be irresponsible for the courts to weigh the distribution of assets shared between the couple based on the time they spent married, for example.
One good example of why the guidelines that apply to heterosexual couples who are married cannot apply to a same-sex marriage is spousal support. It's generally determined by the length of a marriage and the standard of living during the marriage. With only two years to include, potentially, in that period, it could give a skewed look at the couple's life together and be unfair to the lesser-earning spouse.
If you're planning to go through a same-sex divorce, your attorney can help you negotiate a fair settlement. Your marital situation is unique, and the solution you receive should be, too.
Source: GoQNotes, "Traversing LGBTQ divorce in a new era," Amanda Brisson Cannavo, June 15, 2017