Understanding Gay Divorce

Some same-sex couples get married in states where it's legal and then move to states where it's not. What happens if they decide to divorce? What are the legal requirements, and how do they affect gay couples who find themselves in this situation? The legalities are complex.
10/23/2012 01:03 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017
Two groom figurines lying at destroyed wedding cake on tiled floor
Two groom figurines lying at destroyed wedding cake on tiled floor

With the November election on the horizon, the buzz around legalizing gay marriage is going strong. So far, six states and Washington, D.C., have legalized same-sex marriage, but the coming election may result in a few more states -- like Washington and Maryland -- joining in. Additionally, the Democratic Party now formally supports gay marriage rights for the first time in history. It's clear that the subject of same-sex marriage is vital in this election.

When discussing same-sex marriage, however, many neglect to raise the issue of same-sex divorce. Some same-sex couples get married in states where it's legal and then move to states where it's not. What happens if they decide to divorce? What are the legal requirements, and how do they affect gay couples who find themselves in this situation? Because of the variation between states, the legalities are complex.

Total Divorce created an infographic to answer these questions. While the topic of marriage is extremely important in today's culture, the legal implications of same-sex divorce must be examined as well.

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