Same-Sex Marriages Are Flourishing In NJ- Are Divorces To Follow?
- June 22, 2014
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Currently, the statistics indicate that same-sex marriages are flourishing in New Jersey, does this mean that some of these couples will inevitably be heading for a divorce at some point? Matrimonial data and common sense seem to insinuate so. Same-sex marriage became legal in the state of New Jersey on October 21, 2013 following the decision of Garden State Equality v. Dow, N.J. 216, 314 (2013). Since that date, over 2,955 homosexual couples were legally wed in the Garden State. During this same period of time 43,619 heterosexual couples were married which means that for this period of time one out of every fifteen (15) marriages that were conducted in New Jersey was a same-sex marriage. These numbers roughly translate to about 500 homosexual marriages a month or 150 every weekend. Professionals have stated that these number comport with what estimates were projected to be and the data is on par with what happened in other states as gay and lesbian couples gained the right to marry. Currently approximately 4% of the 8.8 million New Jersey residence identify themselves as being homosexual. Researchers predict that the number of same-sex marriages will continue to steadily increase as the summer months commence and as autumn approaches – as these two seasons are the most popular for weddings. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center reflects that about 71,165 gay and lesbian couples have been legally married in the United states with at least 12,285 being married in the state of New York. In New Jersey, Monmouth County has seen the most same-sex weddings since October 2013 with 324; Camden County had 298; and Essex County had 258. As gay and lesbian couples continue to exercise their right to marry they will experience many family law issues that perhaps they did not encounter before such as step-parent adoption of children, tax benefit issues, or estate planning considerations. The unfortunate consequence of many legal marriages -whether they be heterosexual marriages or homosexual marriages – is the possibility of a relationship dissolution and divorce. As the number of same-sex marriages increase it is inevitable that a significant percentage of these marriages may end in a divorce. In the event of a divorce, gay and lesbian couples need to be prepared to deal with the issues that heterosexual divorcing couples have experienced for many years such as – equitable distribution of assets, alimony, child support, child custody and visitation, just to name a few. If you are a gay or lesbian couple who plan on seeking a legal marriage or filing for a same-sex divorce or would like more information regarding same-sex divorce it is critical that you seek out the advice of an experienced attorney before proceeding. For more information about same-sex marriage, same-sex divorce, same-sex relationship dissolution, equitable distribution, alimony, custody and visitation, or other family law matters in New Jersey visit DarlingFirm.com. This blog is for informational purposes and it is in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney.