One of the primary issues in LGBTQIA divorces is the relatively recent recognition of same-sex marriages (May 20, 2014, in Pennsylvania). Many couples who are now facing divorce have been in committed relationships for several years before getting “legally” married. However, Pennsylvania only recognizes common-law marriages prior to January 2, 2005, and proving their existence can be extremely difficult.
As a result, these long-term relationships are often treated as if they only lasted for a few years of legal marriage, significantly affecting asset division, alimony, and other divorce-related matters.
Parentage and Custody Challenges for LGBTQIA Couples
LGBTQIA couples with children may encounter additional difficulties in family court when determining the legal parentage of the non-biological parent. Courts may exhibit bias by favoring the party they perceive to have provided more traditional childcare. Transgender parents undergoing gender transition can face even more significant challenges, as social stigma and discrimination can affect their relationships and potentially prevent them from seeing their children.
Equal Marriage Rights and Legal Protections in Pennsylvania
Despite these challenges, it’s essential to note that, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, same-sex couples have been granted the same equal marriage rights as different-sex couples. The Pennsylvania divorce code addresses three primary areas: legal and physical custody of children, equitable division of marital property, and alimony/spousal support. As a result, same-sex couples are provided with the same legal protections to help ensure a fair and equitable divorce settlement.
Finding an LGBTQIA-Supportive Attorney and Mediator
Given the social stigma and discrimination faced by the LGBTQIA community, it’s crucial to find an attorney who is knowledgeable about LGBTQIA issues and committed to addressing their unique needs and concerns. The attorney mediators at the Alpha Center have experience helping same-sex couples navigate the complexities of divorce. They offer a safe environment in which both parties can work toward a fair settlement agreement without fear of discrimination from a family court judge.
Additionally, the Alpha Center can connect clients with resources for assistance in finding therapy for co-parenting, reducing relationship stress, and managing the divorce transition.
Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation: A Trusted Resource
For over thirty years, the Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation has provided an alternative to the high costs and harmful stress of litigated divorce. Their attorney mediators create an environment that facilitates amicable resolution of differences, helping families transition to a healthy future for themselves, their children, and their relationships.
If you’re facing an LGBTQIA divorce and need guidance, support, or mediation services, let the Alpha Center help you navigate this challenging time and achieve a fair and harmonious resolution.
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Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation