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Massachusetts same-sex couples haven't affected divorce rate much

Setting the standard 10 years ago, the state of Massachusetts legalized same-sex unions. Many believed that it would alter traditional marriages. However, a decade later, not much has changed because divorce rates are about the same.

Since 2004, the divorce rate for Massachusetts couples -- straight and gay -- has remained steady. In 2004, there were just over two divorces per 1,000 people. The numbers stayed about the same until 2010, at which time the divorce rate increased from 2.2 to 2.5. The next year, the divorce rate increased from 2.5 to 2.7. This is the last year divorce rate numbers are available.

Although the divorce rate increased a small amount over those years, Massachusetts ranked near the bottom of the 44 states that reported its divorce information in 2011. Illinois and Iowa were ranked below Massachusetts with the lowest divorce rates in the country. Nationally, the average divorce rate was 3.6 per 1,000 individuals in 2011. It goes without saying that the legalization of same-sex marriage did not alter the path of traditional marriages.

Although it may seem all well and good with same-sex couples, it would appear that they endure the same obstacles as heterosexual couples. This means it isn't uncommon for same-sex partners to experience finance problems, fighting and adultery. In many cases, their problems lead them to contemplating divorce. Same-sex couples have the same rights in Massachusetts when it comes to divorce as straight couples, but they may benefit from learning of their available options and understanding the divorce process in hopes of leaving the marriage with a fair settlement.

Source: Eagle-Tribune, "Divorce rate remains steady despite same-sex unions", Keith Eddings, May 18, 2014

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