Potential for same-sex divorce now a reality in Rhode Island

by Mark Curtis, ABC6 Chief Political Reporter


They were all smiles after saying their same-sex marriage vows.

Most young couples like those getting married at Providence City Hall have few assets they might eventually fight over.

But for  a prominent couple like State Rep Frank Ferri and Tony Caparco – who got married after being together 32 years – well they've probably accumulated lots of stuff.

Attorney Ken Schreiber said, “You know, the reality here is, anyone who has accumulated any assets at all – before they take that step down the aisle – if these assets are premarital in nature, you should consult with an attorney.”

Attorney Schreiber says some gay couples – just like straight couple – may want to put, “who gets, what” into a pre-nuptial agreement,

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, “While the idea of seeing a lawyer before getting married doesn't sound all that romantic, the reality of the situation is this, almost half of marriages end in divorce.”

And if children, or potential children,  are involved it can be even more complicated for same sex couples.

Gay and lesbian couples are more likely to use sperm and egg donors and surrogate mothers.

Attorney Schreiber said, “A) you could have both the parents, meaning the person who's egg it is, and also the sperm donor, as well as the person who actually gave birth to the child, arguing over who should be the mother, who should be the father, and who should be the custodial parent.”

Schreiber says those unforeseen family details can't be put into a prenuptial agreement, and are left for a judge to decide.