Updated: Aug 4
Prior to same-sex marriage, any issue you could possibly imagine regarding divorce has been seen and settled through legal proceedings. The truth is that due to precedent and previously settled law, in many cases, when a divorce goes to court, a lot of the final settlement is based on pre-determined formulas based on income, the number of kids, ages, etc.
Same-sex divorce is quite literally unchartered territory. States that are open to same-sex marriage, such as California, New York, and Massachusetts are working to ensure that laws keep pace with this new paradigm. In a lot of states that are hostile to the idea of same-sex marriage, progress on updating laws is either slow or non-existent.
It is going to take time for new laws to be drafted to take same-sex couples into account. In some cases, current law may not be relevant in same-sex cases. In certain circumstances, while the law is relevant, there are no precedents set, so judges' decisions, which hold a lot of weight in the American Common Law system, are going to be looked at very carefully. As each decision will be looked at so closely and possibly be used as a guideline for future cases with similar circumstances, judges will take more time in making what would have otherwise been an easy or routine decision to make. Progress is never easy, and it is hardest on those that are blazing a legal trail.
In any divorce proceeding, it is vital to keep perspective and it is extremely important to take care of your own needs as to not allow your emotions to overwhelm you. It is also imperative to have the proper representation from a lawyer who will work with your best interests at heart. In the area of same-sex divorce, the case might not only be against your spouse but against the system as well. As new laws are developed and new precedents set, you need someone who knows how to navigate the waters of divorce. Contact Tracy Duell-Cazes, a state bar association certified family law specialist. Tracy will work with you through the process of your divorce to make it as easy as possible.