With the presidential election just around the corner, we at Total Divorce put together an infographic that highlights an important topic that is often overlooked when discussing same-sex marriage: same-sex divorce.
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Same-sex marriage is legal in 6 states and Washington, D.C.
Massachusetts - 2004
Connecticut - 2008
Vermont - 2009
Iowa - 2009
New Hampshire - 2009
District of Columbia -2010
New York - 2011
If these states allow marriage, how many gay couples are getting married? Here's a snapshot to give you and idea:
Number of Marriages
Massachusetts (2004-2009) - 16,129
D.C. (2010) - 3,500
Connecticut (2008-2010) - 4,616
Vermont (2009-2010) - 1,425
Iowa (2009-2010) - 2,099
New Hampshire (2010) - 986
New York - 8,091 (Data covers when the law was passed to Feb. 2012)
Same-sex coupled tend to favor marriage over other union options.
In the first year their states allowed same-sex marriage, 20% of couples got married. In the first year their states allowed civil union or broad domestic partnership, 18% of couples entered into this legal status.
If the first year their states allowed legal relationship statuses with limited rights, only 8% entered into this status.
There's no residency requirement to get married in the states that allow same-sex marriage. But, what happens if the couples want to divorce and they're in a state that doesn't recognize the marriage?
Why does this pose a problem for gay couples?
For one, neither spouse could get married or enter a civil union with another person. They could face bigamy charges.
Someone would have to become a resident of the state he/she was married in to get the divorce.
There are general issues when same-sex couples try to get divorced, as well.
It's difficult to legally determine the length of the marriage.
The legal process of divorce mandated by each state is meant to compel exes to seek fairness in their dealings with one another.
This is done to protect the less well-off spouse and any children the couple may have by requiring:
Even though some states allow same-sex marriage, the difficulties around same-sex divorce raises some legitimate questions: What will be done in the future to legally protect gay spouses?