July 1, 2013

Difficulties of Same-Sex Divorce

Lara Embry and Jane LynchOn June 10, 2013, ABC News announced that actress and TV-Glee star Jane Lynch and Lara Embry were getting divorced.  Lynch and Embry were married three years ago in Massachusetts, a state that legalized same-sex marriage.  However, Lynch and Embry currently live in a state that has not legalized same-sex marriage.

For same-sex married couples, the road to divorce can look scary and uncertain.  Between the states who have legalized gay marriage and provided procedures for divorce,  the states in which same-sex marriage is illegal and the Defense of Marriage Act, the process can look rocky indeed.  In fact, some states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage, will not then recognize same-sex divorce.  For many same-sex married couples, this can result in an enigma wherein they cannot get divorced.

Minnesota is in its infant stages of these processes as it is only this summer that same-sex couples can marry, let alone divorce.  And kudos to the Minnesota legislature who included in their bill the processes of divorce for same-sex couples married in Minnesota as well as other states.

The attorneys, mental health professionals, child specialists and financial neutrals of the Collaborative Law Institute of Minnesota have experience in the dissolution of same-sex relationships for many years.  For years, Minnesota CLI has recognized the need of same-sex couples for help in resolving the property division and visitation schedule of their children.  The difference now will be that the contracts negotiated and agreed upon by same-sex couples, with the help of a multi-disciplinary team, will be recognized in the Minnesota Family Court system.

Kimberly Miller,JD, MA, LAMFT

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