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Supreme Court rulings affect same-sex divorce too

The recent rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court on California's Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act have already had an effect on same-sex marriage across the state. However, in the long run, the rulings will affect same-sex divorce too. While a newly married same-sex couple may have not yet considered this impact, it could be significant in their future.

One of the major ways these ruling will affect divorce is the property division process. During a divorce, most couples who have assets will more than likely transfer those assets in some way. Homes, retirement accounts and other financial assets are normally split between the partners. Since DOMA was struck down, homosexual couples will receive the same tax exemptions as heterosexual couples. Before, same-sex divorces were more expensive due to these taxes.

The ruling on Proposition 8 in California has led many same-sex couples to make the leap and get married. While the new benefits mentioned in the previous paragraph have had an impact, it's inevitable that many of these newly married couples will get divorced. In addition, it's possible that some couples may have rushed to take advantage of their new freedom. This may lead to an increase in divorce around California in the coming years.

Having access to the legal system to help resolve breakups and divorces is a great step forward for same-sex couples. To many, DOMA created a system in which many Americans were treated unfairly by the government. While the changes to the law may help make divorce more fair to same-sex couples, it's up to individuals to protect their own interests. An attorney may be able to help individuals going through a divorce protect their future and get a fair settlement.

Source: Huffington Post, "The New World of Same-Sex Divorce", Frederick Hertz, July 17, 2013

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
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Phone: 916-905-4805
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