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All states have laws in place dictating the procedure for settling property and custody issues for heterosexual divorcing couples. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for most states when it comes to same sex unions. As a result, same sex separations are much more complicated than heterosexual divorces.
Since most states other than California still don’t have laws in place governing the dissolution of these unions, mediation can provide a legal agreement that allows a same sex couple to receive most or all of the same benefits of a married couple.
If your state doesn’t recognize same sex marriages, you must rely on contract law to settle your separation. In many cases, you will be evaluating oral contracts, which further complicates the process.
Since most couples don’t expressly state their intentions when making a domestic purchase, it can be very difficult to enforce these oral contracts. Resolving these disputes in court will be very expensive. It requires a judge to listen to testimony and evaluate the credibility of witnesses. This will drastically increase your legal fees since you can be guaranteed that your separation will involve protracted litigation.
Choosing mediation gives you the power to determine how your property will be divided without going through long, bitter litigation. It enables you and your partner to maintain control of the process and paves the way for a more amicable separation.
All aspects of your separation can be handled by a mediator. This includes:
A skilled mediator can create a safe environment that facilitates cooperative discussion between both parties. The mediator will not make decisions relating to the settlement the way a judge does. He simply provides a forum for open discussion so that the couple can work out all of the issues themselves.
Mediation provides a way for same sex couples to take control of their separation. Litigation in same sex separations is very messy due to the lack of laws governing the process. In mediation, the couple can work collaboratively to ensure that the settlement is fair for both parties.
Mediation will resolve the separation much more quickly, allowing both people to begin moving on with their lives. Since there won’t be any litigation, legal fees will be reduced dramatically.
Our mediators at Jacoby & Meyers are very experienced in dealing with same sex couples’ separations. We understand the delicate nature of the process due to the lack of laws in place to guide couples through this difficult moment in their lives. Our goal is to enable both parties to reach an agreement that is fair and equitable in as peaceful a way as possible.
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