Mr. Kessler’s latest LinkedIn Influencer Post: “Just because we ‘can’, does that mean we ‘should’?”
Now that same sex marriage is allowed everywhere in the U.S., many are lining up, or did line up, to jump right in to the sea of people legally wedded. While many certainly have wanted to do this for a long time and have thought it through, sometimes over and over, are there some who may do it, just because they can? Certainly in every segment of society there are those motivated by the prohibition against doing something. Many young folks drink well before they are legally allowed to, and the appeal for many is precisely that, they are not allowed to do it. I am by no means suggesting that the vast majority of same sex couples who wed as soon as they were legally able to do so, did not think it through. In fact, as a divorce lawyer, I see many heterosexual couples who jumped into marriages without “thinking it through”. There are all sorts of clichés for these types of marriages: Rebound marriages, revenge marriages and “I can’t stand to be alone” marriages. But the bottom line is that for many who were told that they could not marry the one they loved, the mere fact that they now can may not be the only issue they should consider. Or maybe they should marry, but with a bit of caution, perhaps with a prenuptial agreement?
There is no doubt that along with same sex marriage will come same sex divorce. It is already happening. But the reasons for divorce will likely be no different than the reasons opposite sex couples divorce. Unhappiness with their chosen spouse, cheating, addiction and physical violence. But the question may well be, did a couple marry quickly because they could, without thinking about, whether they should. Human nature is human nature and people, couples, human beings are impulsive. Yes many couples think very seriously about whether they should marry, but suddenly having the ability to do something that for years was prohibited, surely makes it a bit more enticing, no? In the next few years, as we analyze divorce rates, I imagine we will see similar numbers of divorces for same sex couples as for opposite sex couples. Many couples no doubt will live “happily ever after” and I wish them the very best. But in the short run and the long run, will there be those who are just as thankful for same sex divorce, as they were for same sex marriage? I think so. And perhaps that, the right to use the same rules to un-marry as everyone else, may bring even more equality.