shutterstock_219219871Recent data indicates that same-sex married couples are running to catch up with their heterosexual counterparts in terms of divorce rates. With more and more states allowing same-sex marriages, more couples are eligible for marriage it is not unexpected that more of them will also be divorcing. It’s just a matter of the numbers; it is not necessarily a reflection of same-sex relationships.

It is not surprising that marriage-equality advocates would keep this fact on a low profile; it may add fuel for the anti-gay marriage movement, justified or not. However, the trend is toward even higher percentages of same-sex divorce as those who have been partners for years finally get married, leaving the arena to the younger, more impulsive, and less committed.

Same-sex couples who have waited years and lobbied hard for having the privilege of legal status in marriage have presumable gone through the test of time together and tended to stay married more than their heterosexual peers. But that is not true for the more recently together, and while only one percent of gay marriages end in divorce every year (compared to 2% for heterosexual marriages), that is expected to even out in the coming years.

But divorce for same-sex couples are a lot more complicated than heterosexual marriages, mostly because current laws are still in a bit of a mess. The federal Defense of Marriage Act figures into the equation plus different states have different laws on same-sex divorce and disposition of taxes, inheritance, pensions, and other typical issues in divorce. It can take some time before there is true equality for gay couples, not only in marriage but also in divorce, at least in the legal sense. In the meantime, gay couples will have to muddle along as best as they can with the help of an experienced family law attorney.