There are some obvious reasons why anyone would want their separation to be amicable. A contested divorce can be stressful and may result in you being unhappy with the judge’s decision. But if you are ending a same-sex marriage, you might encounter some unique challenges that being friendly can help with.
Same-sex marriage has only been legal nationwide for a few years—so the laws about same-sex divorce sometimes cause confusion. You might want to consider mediation to avoid these issues.
Separating might involve more steps
There are unique challenges that same-sex couples may face when divorcing. Many of these issues arise because they have been together for a long time. If you and your spouse had a civil union or domestic partnership before same-sex marriage became legal, you might have to dissolve that as well.
If you have to go through another complicated legal process, you may welcome anything that makes it easier. Some couples choose to go through mediation, where a neutral third-party helps everyone make decisions without fighting in court. Cooperating with your spouse can help make both your divorce and dissolution processes go smoothly.
Alimony can be complicated
Same-sex marriage has only been legal in New Jersey since 2013—so your marriage is probably only a few years old. When a judge decides how alimony will work between you and your spouse, the length of the marriage is an important factor. But what if you two were together for years before your marriage?
If you decide on the terms of your divorce via mediation, you can both factor in the time you spent unmarried. This may result in you getting a better outcome for alimony.
Child custody may not be as simple as it is for heterosexual couples
If you and your spouse have children together, there is a chance that custody can become an issue. If one of you hasn’t legally adopted your children, the court may award custody to the legal parent. This is even more likely if your children are biologically related to one of you and not the other.
Fighting over your family in court might not get you the best result. Figuring out custody without a judge may lead to an agreement that you both think is fair and works best for your child.
A peaceful divorce may help you avoid all of these potential problems—on top of being less stressful overall. An experienced divorce attorney can help you through the mediation process to get the best outcome for your entire family.