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Attorneys bracing for the flip side of gay marriage -- divorce

BY ANITA CREAMER AND PHILLIP REESE, SACRAMENTO BEE

Jen Ikemoto married and married and married.

She and her former partner married first in San Francisco in 2004, when then-Mayor Gavin Newsom allowed same-sex couples to tie the knot; then in a ceremony that took place before family and friends; and finally in a civil ceremony in October 2008, not long before Proposition 8 banned gay marriage in California.

Two years ago, Ikemoto got divorced.

"When San Francisco allowed us to get a marriage license, it was kind of 'We need to make a stand,' " said Ikemoto, 42, who lives in Sacramento and works for the state.

And the couple kept making a stand, she said, even as the relationship faded.

"Maybe if we'd always been considered equal partners by the state," she said, "I wouldn't have been so eager to rush into it."

Sometimes, marriages just don't work out. The flip side of gay marriage is, of course, gay divorce. With the legal resumption last week of same-sex marriage in California, the state's family law attorneys are gearing up for what happens when some of those marriages fail.

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