Reasons Behind Same-Sex Divorces


While same-sex marriages are now fully legal, thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, the unfortunate byproduct of more unions is now more divorces. Same-sex divorces will have the same legal issues and considerations as any other marriage. The law applies just the same.

For now, the rates of success in same-sex marriages are encouraging. While same-sex divorce rates are reportedly lower than that of the overall population, they still will happen with regularity. Since same-sex marriage is still relatively new, so the overall trend in divorces remains to be seen. Here are some of the reasons why same-sex couples may get divorced.

Financial Issues

Money issues are often the number one cause behind any divorce. Two spouses may simply not be on the same financial page as the other. One may be more spendthrift, while the other likes to save. Money issues are something that any couple needs to discuss before they get married. Arguments about money can be among the most intense ones that a married couple faces. Couples need to plan financially for the future. In addition, there may be particular struggles with benefits, as same-sex couples have often had to wage legal battles to be thought of as beneficiaries. While that is changing, there may be an extra need for sound financial planning, and the couple may simply be on a different page.

Societal Discrimination

Even though same-sex marriage is now the law of the land, it does not necessarily make like easier for married couples. Others are still resistant to something that is completely legal, and they are not as accepting of same-sex unions. In society, this can lead to painful incidents of discrimination, some of which are completely legal.  All of this can add up to significant sources of stress for a couple that has to navigate the way that large parts of the world still are.

Besides, discrimination based on sexual orientation is not just limited to people who are married. Anyone can face illegal treatment in an employment or any other setting. This is distressing, and it can cast a pall over daily life, making it harder to maintain a marriage. In general, discrimination can lead to physical and mental health issues that can cast a shadow over the marriage.

Family Issues

In addition to societal discrimination, some families may not be accepting of their loved one and their decision to marry someone of the same gender. A lack of family acceptance can cause issues between the spouses, with blame being cast for how the family responds. This is often an issue that is out of anyone’s control, especially in more traditional families. No matter what a same-sex couple does, they may not win acceptance from the family. This can drive a wedge between spouses when the issue persists for years. One spouse may not want to be in a situation knowing that their spouse’s family does not accept them and likely never will.


According to the United States Census, nearly 15% of same-sex couples had at least one child under the age of 18 in their household. Many same-sex couples experience issues surrounding children. Like any married couple, one spouse may not want children while the other does. In today’s society, it is easier than ever for a same-sex married couple to have a family, but the spouses may not be on the same page. When they do have children, they may have issues with how to raise them. The two spouses could have different values or parenting styles. In addition, having children could also make arguments over money worse, given the high cost of raising kids these days. Sometimes, this tension just cannot be resolved.

Growing Apart

Many marriages can reach a critical stage, where spouses who have been together for years can grow apart from each other. In some ways, it is natural that people change over time in different ways than each other. Almost every marriage could reach a point where the couple is at a crossroads. There could be personality differences, or people could just be growing tired of each other. In addition, infidelity could also rear its head in a same-sex marriage, causing a strain on the marriage. Couples will need to navigate difficult times in their marriage, and some may not make it through. Any married couple may realize at some point in their marriage that they are just not right for each other, and they can make the decision to call it quits.

Same-Sex Marriages May Happen Later in Life

Same-sex couples tend to get married later in life than many heterosexual couples. As such, their marriage may not be their first one. In general, divorce rates are higher in second and third marriages than they are in first ones. That same pattern holds true in same-sex marriages. While you might think that marriages that happen later in life would tend to be more stable than those that happen earlier, the opposite can often be true.

While we have covered some of the reasons for same-sex divorce, we should also discuss the reasons why these marriages may be more likely to last. Same-sex couples have had to wage a long legal battle for the right to marry. Now that they are able to legally marry, they may view their own marriage as something more durable and worth fighting for when times get rough, as they do for every single married couple.

Nonetheless, any same-sex divorce should be done with the help of a lawyer, just as in any divorce. There will still be issues of property division and custody (if the couple has children). These divorces can be stressful, and difficult decisions need to be made. A divorce attorney can help you navigate the legal issues that you may face and could help you achieve the best legal outcome.