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Divorce legal in at least 19 states for same-sex couples

In Boston, divorce for any kind of married couple has been normal for the last few years. In other states, that hasn’t been the case, which is why if you were married in Massachusetts and are struggling with divorce outside the state, you may have to return to get one. That may be changing though. Some people have been excited over recent news that even more states are recognizing homosexual marriages, and this May 22 report discusses the importance of that recognition when it comes to divorce.

According to the news, when a pair goes through a marriage in one state but is unable to legally get divorced, that can lead to a number of issues. One man allegedly found his house ransacked and his spouse gone when his marriage failed, but he was still legally bound to his spouse due to the inability to get a divorce in their state of Pennsylvania. When Pennsylvania lifted the ban on same-sex marriages, he filed for divorce and became the first one in Lehigh County.

That man had gotten married in Vermont, and when he was finally allowed to get a divorce, it opened him up to dating along with the other benefits that come with a finalized divorce. He’s not the only person who has struggled though. In another case, a woman and her spouse had been partnered for 20 years and married for five; when that marriage fell apart, the two were unable to get a legitimate divorce.

They had children and were able to agree to shared custody, but that didn’t take care of things like filing separate taxes or breaking health care ties with the ex. Since the change, she’s been able to seek a divorce that would properly define her as an individual.

Massachusetts was the first state to permit same-sex marriages, starting in 2004. Today, there are only 19 states that allow them. In these couples’ cases, the actual divorce will allow them to proceed and to properly define their assets and child custody, alimony and other vital parts of a divorce.

Source: The Morning Call, “Couples celebrate the right to divorce” Samantha Marcus, May. 22, 2014

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