The new same-sex marriage law passed by New York State will present a serious challenge for many same-sex couples seeking a divorce. WhileNew York now recognizes same-sex marriage, most other states do not. Should a New York couple move to one of those states and decides to divorce, they may face great difficulty. The state may simply refuse to grant a divorce to a union it does not legally recognize. Greg Abbott, Texas’ attorney general, has already intervened with this argument in two same-sex divorces. To add to the complication, even if the couple decided to return to New York, the state requires residency of at least 90 days to obtain a divorce (unlike marriage which has no residency requirement.) Richard Socarides, who was an advisor to President Bill Clinton on gay issues, said the present inconsistencies in the law might eventually work to move the cause of same-sex marriage forward as more and more of these unions are formed. The new law in New York should only serve to speed up theprocess, as history has shown that more marriages inevitably result in more divorces.
Tax returns for same sex couples are a minefield! Tax free asset transfers under IRS Code Sec. 1041 and alimony under IRS Code Sec. 71 are fine on a state level, but, NOT, for US tax returns. Some same sex divorces, especially with children, may require divorce attorneys, CPAs, estate, and contract attorneys, in order to sort things out and keep economic damages from the split at a minimum. Until the U.S. recognizes same sex marriages the über complicated financial aspects of the divorce will only add to the emotional trauma of the divorce itself.