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Same-sex couple can end relationship with mediation, not divorce

Even though there are 28 same-sex couples who have filed a state lawsuit asking for a judge to overthrow Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage, lawyers from the state are actively defending the ban. If Pennsylvania does get same-sex marriage, it will be a ways off.

Regardless of how people feel about that, this means that same-sex couples in Doylestown will need to end their relationships by creatively using family law instead of just applying for divorce. Many may seek out family law attorneys to help with mediation, an effective way to end a relationship while respecting each person's rights within the relationship.

While people whose marriages are recognized by the state of Pennsylvania may use divorce mediation to end a marriage in a more cordial and respectful way, same-sex couples can use it to divide up their shared property, negotiate child custody and assign child support. Even though the state doesn't recognize their relationships, same-sex couples can still make sure that they are protected should their relationships fail.

By using mediation, couples will inherently have to be more civil with each other, the mediation depends on it. One partner cannot refuse to negotiate or there will be no mediated settlement. It is also much harder to blow up at someone when it is clear that he or she is not going to sacrifice your future and happiness just to punish you.

Mediation is certainly not for everyone, but for same-sex couples, it is sometimes one of the only options available.

Source: Penn Live, "Pa. lawyers defend state's same-sex marriage ban," Feb. 20, 2014

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