Collaborative Divorce As LGBTQ+ Empowerment

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  • The Law Offices of Ryan S. Dougay
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  • June 10, 2024

Collaborative Divorce As LGBTQ+ Empowerment

Has Marriage Equality Resolved All Issues For All Couples?

National legalized marriage for LGBTQ community was created in 2014. However, has it safeguarded and resolved all issues for that community when contemplating a divorce?

It is almost universal when determining distribution of assets from a marriage, that the date of marriage and the date of commencement of a divorce action are critical dates. However, for the LGBTQ community this raises special concerns.

Since many LGBTQ couples were in committed relationships long before legalized marriage, the question becomes, if a couple has planned their financial future, from the beginning of their relationship, how does that impact the distribution of their assets during a divorce?

This is especially true with long-term relationships, where the couple has financially planned for their future together as well as their retirement.

Most courts will not entertain any assets prior to the date of marriage. However, in the Collaborative process, the parties can determine how all assets will be treated and distributed between the parties. This is another example of how the collaborative divorce process is extremely valuable to the LGBTQ community.

Concetta Spirio, Esq., of (Spirio Law), as a collaboratively trained divorce attorney and a member of this community, can explain how this process is vital in so many ways for the LGBTQ community.

Divorce is often viewed as a tumultuous and adversarial process. However, it does not have to be that way. For those that explore alternatives there is definitely a better way. Collaborative divorce is a method gaining traction in modern times and offers couples an alternative route to ending their marriage/relationship with dignity, respect and mutual understanding. Unlike traditional litigated divorces, where each party hires their own attorney and battles all the issues out in open court, Collaborative Divorce involves a team approach aimed at reaching a mutually beneficial agreement, often focused solely upon the parties and their family, in a private and confidential setting. It also permits the clients to be the architect of their own destiny and determination in the dissolution of this primary relationship.

Collaborative divorce affords a family the diversity and flexibility of crafting a settlement agreement that is customized and fits their personalized needs and family situation and circumstance; all while protecting their privacy, dignity and doing what is best for their children. It also takes their divorce outside the court system and avoids any prejudice and concern of having a judge who may not be impartial and objective to their lifestyle and/or circumstances.

It is for these reasons that Mediation and the Collaborative Divorce processes can provide resolutions of conflicts outside the court system that are extremely important as well as being cost effective and economic for all families, but particularly for those communities that face discrimination, prejudice or adversity in the court system.

Because a team approach is utilized, it is often one of the best and most cost effective ways to divorce as compared to a litigated divorce.

Divorce can be particularly challenging for LGBTQ couples, who may face unique legal and social obstacles during the dissolution of their marriage or Domestic Partnership. Navigating these complexities, Collaborative Divorce and/or Domestic Partnership dissolution, emerges as a beacon of inclusivity and empowerment, offering a path towards amicable resolutions that honor the diverse needs and identifies with the LGBTQ community. For more information or guidance contact