On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court held that same sex couples have a fundamental right to marry as guaranteed by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584; 192 L. Ed. 2d 609 (2015).
So, what does this mean for same-sex couples, who would like to divorce? Due to the fact that same-sex marriage has only been an option since June 2015, same sex divorces will differ from heterosexual divorces. One of the factors that is considered in terms of spousal support and property division, is the length of the marriage. Thus, a same-sex couple that has had a civil union or has been a couple for many years, will still have a fairly short length of marriage, which in turn, results in less support.
Because the issue of same-sex divorces is just beginning, the court may be persuaded to take a closer look at these issues, and consider arguments regarding the length of the relationship, rather than the length of the marriage. If you are considering your options for same-sex divorce, please contact the attorneys of Serafini, Michalowski, Derkacz & Associates, P.C. at (586) 264-3756.