Divorce is just the same difficult as gay marriages in the US. "Divorce is the new frontier for gay couples," said Susan Sommer of Lambda Legal, a legal advice service for homosexuals. "They had to fight to be together, and they have to fight to get a divorce." Like marriage, divorce laws are determined by each of the 50 states, only nine of which -- in addition to the federal capital Washington -- so far allow couples of the same sex to wed. "If a couple is living in New York City... they can get a divorce in New York City," said Sommer, who is Lambda Legal's director of constitutional litigation and senior counsel. But complications arise when couples relocate to a state where their marriage is not legally recognized, said Stuart Gaffney, media director of the lobbying group Marriage Equality USA. Thus, a couple living in Utah, where gay marriage is not recognized, can marry in Massachusetts, where it is legal and where newlyweds are not obliged to live in the state. If the couple returns to Utah and their marriage falls apart, however, they would have to go to another state to petition for a divorce -- which requires a period of residence of six months to two years, depending on the state. There are also local particularities. In Wyoming, for instance, same-sex couples cannot marry but they can seek a divorce. "It's a mess," Sommer told AFP. A Marriage Equality USA activist who requested anonymity to speak freely said such a situation left her in a state of stress and uncertainty as to how to legally and financial separate from her partner, whom she married in Canada. "It made for a very difficult, untenable situation," she said. "Within less than a year, after several years of uncertainty, we made the decision to end the relationship and begin the process of a divorce. I was very fortunate to be able to get divorced. "Unfortunately, other US citizens who get married in Canada, or in other locations where same-sex marriage is legalized, rarely have this right," she said. "They are left in perpetual legal limbo. According to the Williams Institute, which conducts research on the gay community, one percent of same-sex marriages -- of which there were about 50,000 in 2011 -- end in divorce every year, half the proportion for heterosexuals. But even happily married couples who live in a state that recognizes gay marriage have to face "nightmare" complications, with divorce being the ultimate problem, Gaffney said. That's because, under the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal government recognizes only straight marriages -- with hundreds of repercussions involving such areas as income tax and retirement benefits. LGBT activists are thus eagerly awaiting how the US Supreme Court will rule on DOMA after its justices hear both sides of the legal argument on March 26-27. "Non-gay couples are treated as what they are -- married -- no matter where they are living, traveling, or divorcing," said Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry, another group that campaigns for marriage equality. "But gay couples experience a patchwork of respect, uncertainty and discrimination, depending on where they are," he said. "That's why all couples should have -- the freedom to marry and divorce no matter where they live or find themselves." << Genetically Modified Immune Cells may Help Treat Cancer The Psychology Behind Self Harm Revealed >> Recommended Reading Germany’s First Gay Team Celebrate Despite Heavy Loss on Their Debut German rugby team Berlin Bruisers are celebrating despite suffering a heavy defeat. READ MORE Most of the Americans' Support Gay Marriages According to a new poll, Americans support for same-sex marriage has reached a record high. READ MORE Colombian Model Claims Eating Chicken Injected With Female Hormones Turns Children Gay In a bizarre claim, one of Colombia's top models said that eating chicken that are injected with female hormones led to children turning gay. READ MORE Divorce: Pros and Cons Divorce can be traumatic for children and create a sense of insecurity amongst them. Couples should realize that joined parenting is important even after divorce. READ MORE How to Handle Depression and Stress while Going Through a Divorce? Divorce or breakup can be stressful and cause anxiety, depression and panic. Simple ways can help you deal with depression triggered by loss of marriage. READ MORE How to Save your marriage You can save your marriage - even when your partner insists on a divorce. READ MORE Is Life Better Staying Single or Getting Married? The stigma linked to staying single is gradually disappearing. More people opt to stay single and many even claim to be happier. But there are both advantages and disadvantages to staying single. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia The Essence of Yoga Find a Hospital Blood - Sugar Chart More News on: How to Save your marriageDivorce: Pros and ConsIs Life Better Staying Single or Getting Married?How to Handle Depression and Stress while Going Through a Divorce?