Same Sex Divorce and Domestic Partnership Mediation
Same sex divorce and dissolution of domestic partnership mediation can help your partner and you end your marriage or domestic partnership on amicable terms. If things aren’t working out between the two of you, both of you can seek a divorce mediator. However, before you do, you should know that same sex marriage is not legal in every state and the laws to grant a divorce are different from straight couples. Following are some differences that same sex couples should know:
1. Location of Marriage
Same sex couples that married in a state that legalized same sex marriage, but live in a state that has yet to, need to file in the state that recognized their union in order to get a divorce. Additionally, the same sex couples need to be a resident of the state that they are filing. For instance, California, which allows same sex couples to get married, requires them to live there for six months.
2. Living in Two Different States
Same sex couples that no longer live with each other, but are separated and living in different states will come across certain challenges. For instance, you live in Ohio where same sex marriage is recognized while your partner moved to Iowa that doesn’t recognize the union. For all medical decisions, your ex in Iowa will be in-charge of making medical decisions. Even if Iowa doesn’t recognize the union, it recognizes medical decisions.
3. You Cannot Remarry, Unless Divorced
Same sex couples need to take extra care when moving on to the next relationship, especially if they haven’t filed for divorce. If they become married again, they will face a bigamy charge. You will have to get a divorce in the state you got married, before moving on.
4. Laws Are Always Changing
Laws change constantly, which means that the laws of a particular state that doesn’t allow same sex marriages can change as well. If they do change while the same sex couple is still living there, they will get all the rights of a married couple. This means that both of you will now be eligible for divorce.
5. Child Custody Problems
If you and your partner adopted a child together, you will not be treated any differently in the court of law than other married couples. The proceedings of who gets custody of the child are the same for them as they are for everyone else. Just as every other soon to be divorced couple, you and your partner will have to sit down with a divorce mediator to decide who gets custody on what days.
6. Pre-Nuptial Agreement
Although most straight couples may seek a pre-nuptial agreement, if they have anything to lose if a divorce occurs, most same sex couples do not. Since same sex marriages are fairly new, most of them do not have a pre-nuptial agreement.
To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”