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The divorce rate for same-sex couples is lower, study says

Could sexual orientation play a role in the overall success of a marriage? A new study indicated that this may be so. The Williams Institute's most recent findings indicated that same-sex couples tend to divorce less than their straight counterparts.

That same study pointed to the skyrocketing rate of same-sex marriage in states where gay marriage is legal, like Colorado. While the rate of gay marriage has been increasing, same-sex divorces still only account for just over 1 percent of all divorces in America. The separation rate from civil unions or domestic partnerships from same-sex couples doesn't affect that rate much, pushing the divorce and separation rate up to only 1.6 percent.

The study did acknowledge that more long-term data would likely be needed. For instance, couples that married in a state where gay marriage is legal but reside in another state where it is not legal cannot file for a divorce in their state of residence. How these marriages fare in the long term is also not understood.

Although same-sex couples appear to be divorcing at a lower rate than other couples in Colorado, they still need to address the same issues as any other divorcing couple does. If a couple has children, determining custody may be one of the most important factors that they need to address. Most divorcing couples can reach an agreeable divorce settlement through alternative dispute resolutions such as mediation. However, for those who continue to butt heads over important issues, litigation may be the only option. The decision to proceed to court should generally be approached with caution, as doing so gives the judge overseeing the case the final say on the agreement.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Same-Sex Couples Are Less Likely To Divorce Than Heterosexual Couples, New Study Shows", Pamela J. Stubbart, Dec. 19, 2014

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