Same-sex divorces are similar to any traditional divorces, but some couples may face complications. Since the legal date of marriage may not actually reflect how long a same-sex couple has been together, there may be unusual circumstances that the judge has to consider.
As one example, a couple who has been married for 10 years might have actually been together for 20. The relationship is so long that only taking the last 10 into consideration really would not be fair for those involved.
The good news is that the court does have broad discretion in cases like yours. If you have the evidence needed to show you would have been married sooner or that you were living as a married couple long before same-sex marriage was legal in the United States, then that can help you obtain more than just the assets that you amassed during your legally recognized marriage.
The hardest thing for courts to do in same-sex divorce cases is determining the true date of when the marriage should have begun. It’s not always the actual date of legal marriage. This can affect alimony and property division since longer marriages have more weight in how judges award alimony or percentages of assets.
It’s possible that the court could add years onto your marriage if you were co-habitating at that time. It’s something you can fight for if it’s not guaranteed in your case or if you and your spouse can’t agree on the date to use as the start of your “married” life together. Your attorney can help you boost your chances of having the date backdated so that you can get more during your divorce.