Divorces for Same-Sex Couples: A Complete Guide

When your relationship reaches a natural endpoint or when you have found that divorce is the only option to remove yourself from a damaging union, it can be difficult to know what to do. This is the case for both heterosexual and same-sex marriages. Nonetheless, in the case of same-sex unions, there are some unique challenges and bumps in the road to navigate in order to ensure the most peaceful resolution to your divorce.

This guide aims to address the unique difficulties of same-sex divorces, ensuring the best course of action is taken by individuals in this predicament.

Children and Custody

When a heterosexual couple gets divorced, there is a high likelihood that the mother of the children will be granted custody. This has been observed in statistics for decades and the reasons for this imbalance are numerous: breast-feeding requirements and care-giving qualities provided up to the point of divorce. When it comes to same-sex couples though, the distinction is less clear between who is the ‘rightful’ custodian of children and who ought to secure custody of their offspring.

As such, you can find yourself in legal headaches and difficult conversations over custody as a same-sex couple, which might not be so complicated for heterosexual couples. Whether this is because the law is yet to update, or because lifestyles are changing and couples are choosing different ways to work, you will need to find a way to form your custody argument in order to retain access to your kids. If you can reach an amicable agreement with your partner where you split the custody evenly, you may find you’ve found the best result for your family.

Splitting Resources

Divorces also result in the splitting up of your assets and resources, and for couples with a great disparity in their income and wealth, this can be difficult to organize without some legal wrangling and hurtful words. For same-sex couples, there’s an added complexity in that legislation for their marriage may have come in some time after the couple considered themselves to be in a committed long-term partnership. As such, there can often be some discussion and debate as to when the relationship began in earnest, and therefore what sort of settlement divorcees should expect in court.

What’s certain is that this is another of the unpleasant aspects of a divorce that you will have to hammer out with your chosen attorneys. If you can find a same sex divorce attorney in Woodland Hills California — someone well-versed in same-sex divorce cases — you’ll be best-placed to work the court to your advantage in the unfolding dispute. Of course, the preferable option is that you are able to settle these complexities outside of court, but this is sometimes impossible. It’s worth being cognizant of the fact that same-sex divorces are still ‘relatively’ new in the US, and as such, there are unique challenges to overcome in your divorce.


Unfortunately, while the world has seen a significant amount of progress for same-sex couples over the course of the past fifty years, there still exist pockets of discrimination that make life a little more difficult for those who are in same-sex relationships. Whether that discrimination is felt in overt and aggressive acts, or in more passive and subtle behaviors of people around you, this is something to bear in mind as you follow through on the legal process of your divorce and the court hearings regarding your split from your spouse.

Ultimately, this tip is about finding ways to reach a just split from your partner, while being vigilant for any discrimination you might receive at the hands of the court or even the press. Remember that working with attorneys who have experience working with same-sex couples can help you identify and protect your interests and ensure you’re dealt with justly and fairly across the process of your divorce.

Starting a New Life

Now that you have dealt with the two most important elements of your divorce and you’re ready to commence a new life, you should consider your options to be as open as when you were younger. You are free to move away from the place in which you made your life with your spouse, or you may decide to stay in the home that you made together while your ex-partner moves on. In either case, drawing a line under your divorce and being able to hold your head high is important for processing difficult emotions related to your split.

Many divorcees choose to invest in their mental and emotional wellbeing after having their painful split. For you, this might mean heading to a therapist to talk through what happened over the course of your relationship, or it might mean spending more time with friends and family in your free time. It might mean taking up a new hobby or investing more of your time in volunteer work and other charitable deeds. Whatever you choose, starting a new life should feel full of possibility and excitement following your divorce.

New Relationships

After a divorce, you may feel that you are worn out and exhausted by all of the emotional pain that your split has caused. The cancellation of a marriage is a painful moment and something that will inform the rest of your love life, but it’s also an opportunity to learn about yourself and what you are truly looking for in your next relationship.

As such, mixed with the melancholy of a divorce should come that clear-sighted introspection and evaluation that will lead you to more fulfilling and exciting relationships in the future. Now that you’re free from the legal wrangling and the courtroom, you are free to begin living your life to the full again, putting your divorce behind you and looking resolutely into your exciting future.

This article has detailed the unique challenges that are presented to same-sex couples in the process of divorcing in modern-day America. Be sure to keep these tips in mind in order to emerge from your divorce in a peaceful and emotionally mature manner.

Comments are closed.