For Gay Couples, Divorce Equality is also a Trial

Robert Stanley was featured in a July 5, 2013 article by Reuters about the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the problems gay couples who have been able to marry face when getting divorces. If a couple married in a state that recognizes gay marriage and now lives in a state that doesn’t, divorcing can be difficult and may require at least one of the spouses to move. Gay divorces can also cost double, or triple, those involving heterosexual couples.

Stanley told Reuters that a “civil union” began in Vermont in 2001 differs from one entered into in Hawaii in 2013 and that things can become more complicated if the couple has moved to other states. He also noted that couples who started domestic partnerships in 1999 may have fewer rights than those who formed one in 2005.

Stanley also said that courts have offered differing opinions about when a gay couple, denied the right to marry, begins their legal bond – when they hold a commitment ceremony and declare themselves married or register with the state.