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How divorce differs for LGBTQ couples

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2021 | Divorce |

Many people in Ohio choose to end their marriages in divorce, including both heterosexual and same-sex couples. However, there are some important differences between heterosexual and LGBTQ divorces that people should know.

Lesbian vs. gay male divorces

Researchers in the United Kingdom reviewed divorce data among same-sex couples from 2014 to 2019. Same-sex marriage was first legalized there in 2014. Since that time, the number of divorces filed by same-sex couples has increased. The researchers found an interesting difference between divorce rates among lesbian couples and gay male couples, however. They found that lesbians are much likelier to file for divorce than gay men. In 2019 alone, lesbians made up 72% of all of the divorce cases filed among same-sex couples, and the ratio was similar in each preceding year. Data also shows that women in heterosexual marriages are two times as likely to file petitions for divorce than men.

LGBTQ divorces vs. heterosexual divorces

People in same-sex marriages may also have to deal with different issues than heterosexual couples. For example, many same-sex couples lived together for years before they were legally allowed to marry. This means that the property each spouse brought into the marriage will normally be considered to be the separate property of that spouse instead of marital property that is subject to division in a divorce. The individual spouses in same-sex divorce cases might have accumulated substantial assets before their marriages happened, meaning that the division of property might not be fair. Same-sex couples may also have to contend with child custody issues when their children are the biological children of only one of the parents.

Same-sex divorces still comprise a very small percentage of the divorce cases filed in Ohio overall. However, they are increasing as more years go by since same-sex marriage was legalized. People who want to end their marriages may want to seek legal help from an attorney who is experienced with handling the unique issues that LGBTQ people might face during the process.


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