We at Keystone Mediation celebrate Pride Month! We wanted to share how mediation has served the LGBTQ community in the past and how it continues to help today.
First, There Was the Obergefell v. Hodges Case
The United States Supreme Court ruled on this landmark case on June 26, 2015. It effectively forced all states to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and jurisdictions as legal marriages. This decision gave 14th amendment rights and protections to same-sex couples by requiring all states to issue marriage licenses.
Mediation’s History with the LGBTQ Community
Before this decision, when a same-sex couple chose to end a domestic partnership, mediation was one of the only outlets to assist in this process. Many mediators offered their services to the LGBTQ community to help separating individuals work out the splitting of assets, parenting time schedules, and supplemental monetary payments (instead of spousal support payments). Mediation filled a void with same-sex couples where there were limited legal options available. In addition, mediation helped same-sex couples craft Domestic Partnership agreements to allow for protections that were not available under marriage laws. Mediation also assisted with resolving conflicts in the LGBTQ community with workplace discrimination and neighborhood disputes.
LGBTQ Mediation Today
At a recent training, I had a student ask me how do I mediate a same-sex divorce? The student also asked what the differences were between a same-sex mediation and a heterosexual mediation. My answer was simple: there are no differences. There are always unique situations, needs, and concerns that need to be addressed when going through the mediation process with a divorce. With the legalization of same-sex marriages, divorce is the way to end all legal marriages. Mediation serves as an alternative to traditional litigation when resolving all matters related to a legal marriage.
We are proud to offer services that help LGBTQ communities. Keystone Mediation is a safe place to hold open dialogue and to express their needs and concerns. Schedule a free consultation to learn more and see how Keystone Mediation can help you build the base of your future.