At the Law Offices of Diane J.N. Morin, we understand that when you and your same-sex partner seek a California divorce, our laws may or may not apply to your specific situation. Many state laws do not fully consider the special problems that you and other same-sex couples often face when you divorce.
The Arbitration Law Review explains that while the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in its 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision, it did not require the states to immediately modify their divorce laws so as to encompass same-sex couples as well as heterosexual couples. Not surprisingly, states have been slow to revise their laws. Consequently, a mediated divorce may be just what you and your spouse need to solve any legal problems you may otherwise encounter.
The purpose of mediation, whether entered into by heterosexual or same-sex spouses, is to allow the parties to resolve their own issues rather than leaving important life-impacting decisions up to a judge. Unlike a traditional litigated divorce, mediation lets you and your partner maintain control over your respective lives.
Once you and your spouse hire a neutral mediator, you both meet with that person to negotiate and resolve whatever issues you may have with each other. Your mediator represents neither of you and instead acts as your facilitator to ensure that both of you have ample opportunity to express your respective views and opinions in a neutral, nonthreatening, cooperative and respectful atmosphere. Your mediator will not allow either of you to intimidate or verbally overpower or abuse the other.
You and your spouse can negotiate, compromise on and resolve any issues you desire, including the following:
- Child custody, support and visitation
- Spousal support
- Property division
- Protection of any business or professional practice that you may own together
While a judge must approve any mediated agreement(s) you reach with your spouse, judges are strongly inclined to do so. In addition, since mediation is a nonjudicial process, neither you nor your approval judge is constrained by legal precedents. You and your spouse therefore can truly resolve your issues between yourselves alone.
For more information on this topic, please visit this page on our website.