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Federal law protects right of same sex couples to divorce

It has not been long in this country’s history that same sex marriages have been recognized. For generations the legal union between two men or two women was prohibited by law. Couples in Massachusetts and through the rest of the nation who were unable to marry missed out on many of the benefits that heterosexual married couples were able to enjoy.

Over time, some states legalized marriages for same sex couples. Prior to the defeat of the Defense of Marriage Act states that did not recognize marriages between same sex partners did not have to allow those couples to seek divorces in their courts. This led to significant hurdles for individuals who wanted to divorce but who had moved away from the states where their unions were forged.

Now, however, same sex marriage is legal throughout the nation and so too is same sex divorce. In 2015 the Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriages are legal and therefore eligible for divorce under the laws of the various states. However, same sex couples who wish to divorce must abide by the residency and filing rules that also apply to couples of different sexes.

Same sex divorces experience many of the same challenges as separate sex divorces, including but not limited to negotiations over child custody and support, alimony and the division of marital property. Individuals who are preparing to divorce whether from same sex or separate sex unions may wish to discuss their questions and concerns with family law attorneys. Legal professionals who work with divorce clients are well suited to explain the complex divorce laws that may apply in their clients’ cases.