Divorce is Different for Same-Sex Couples

Getting married may not have the economic benefits for gay people because they earn more and have lower unemployment than straight couples, according to a recent survey, and marriage isn’t always beneficial between same-sex couples especially when it comes to divorce.

According to a Prudential survey of 1,000 LGBT respondents, gay people have salaries averaging $61,500 compared to $50,054 for the national average for straight people, and they are $4,000 less in debt and have $6,000 more in the bank than the average American. The LGBT unemployment rate is .09% lower than for the rest of the population.

Although gay people may be more secure financially than straight people, “[a] significant portion don’t want to get married, because in some instances marriage will save money but in other cases there’s a cost,” says Brad Snyder, director of Institutional Giving with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York. “But the benefits that come from marriage are one of the best safe guards out there.”

“Getting married can put two high wage earners into a higher tax bracket,” said Debra Abbott-Walker, manager of agency recruiting with Prudential. “It’s an individual choice and decision.”

According to a recent TD Bank survey, 82% of individuals in relationships have a joint checking or savings account with their spouses, but merging finances is not for everyone especially those whose same-sex marriages end in divorce.”

Have a prenuptial agreement drawn up in advance of the marriage that specifically deals with how you will divide up property and support in the event you break up,” said Lori Barkus, family law attorney in Florida. “A little bit of planning ahead of time can save a lot of time, money and further heartbreak in the end.”

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