The legalization of same-sex marriage came with a major caveat: same-sex couples can now pursue both marriage and divorce. Now that same-sex marriage has been legal for over a decade in some states, we’re beginning to gain a better sense of how often LGBT couples divorce—and how this process plays out. Read on to learn what the latest research says about same-sex and straight divorces:
Straight Versus Same-Sex Divorce Rates
Reported divorce rates among straight couples vary considerably from one source to the next. According to a CBS survey, 36.3 percent of all couples—both gay and straight—eventually divorce. A Williams Institute survey suggests that two percent of straight couples divorce each year, compared to just one percent of same-sex couples.
Gay Versus Lesbian Divorce Rates
Divorce rates can vary greatly not only between straight and same-sex couples, but also between gay and lesbian spouses. Results from multiple studies indicate that lesbian couples are more likely to split than their gay counterparts. For example, a Statistics Netherland study examining same-sex relationships since 2001 concluded that while more lesbian marriages were registered, 30 percent ended in divorce within ten years. Conversely, only 15 percent of gay couples divorced after a decade.
LGBT divorce statistics are bound to shift as time goes on and same-sex couples deal with many of the circumstances (finances, infidelity, and so on) that prompt divorce among straight spouses. In general, however, the outlook is promising for same-sex partners who exercise their recently established right to marriage. What’s more, those who pursue divorce can now obtain legal protections previously not available to LGBT couples.
At the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd., all clients receive compassionate and respectful legal service, regardless of sexual orientation. Reach out today to learn how the respected Minnesota law firm can guide you through your divorce.