Noah Mediation Services will continue accepting LGBT cases, when mediation is appropriate, within the following parameters:
- If combined income is under $30,000/year if there are no children, or under $50,000 if there are children, then Laura will mediate these cases pro bono.
Marriage or Civil Unions are increasingly becoming an option for LGBT couples in the United States, but only on a state by state basis (see Lambda Legal's website for specific information by state). There is still no federal recognition of gay marriage or civil unions, regardless of existing state laws. The separation and/or divorce of LGBT couples can be extremely complicated given the inherent lack of consistency between states. Only state courts where gay marriage or civil unions are legal have a dissolution process for LGBT couples. That process may vary depending on where the legal union took place and/or according to the legal residence of one or both individuals at the time of separation. *
As of June 1, 2011, civil unions are an option for same-sex and different-sex couples in the state of Illinois. For information regarding civil unions Lambda Legal created a frequently asked questions document that can be downloaded here. Couples choosing to dissolve a legally recognized civil union in Illinois will be allowed the same legal process as those who were married and are divorcing. In some instances, however, mediation may be a more appropriate process. In particular, mediation allows for an amicable end to a relationship while keeping individuals, not the courts, in control of the outcome.
Many issues that result during an LGBT couple's separation can be successfully addressed in mediation including the division of property and finances and the establishment of a parenting plan. Mediation is an alternative that can address the unique needs of LGBT individuals and couples.
Noah Mediation Services maintains cultural competency regarding LGBT specific issues.
LGBT Mediation Within a Continuing RelationshipMediation can also assist couples wishing to remain together. When conflicts or communication difficulties arise, relationships become strained. Couples may find it beneficial to seek the assistance of a third-party . See our page on Couples' Mediation for more information.
You may also find it helpful to look at our page on mediation for Never-Married couples.
LGBT or Questioning Individuals & Heterosexual RelationshipsIf you or your spouse are "coming out" or "questioning," mediation can assist you with the dissolution of your marriage or heterosexual relationship or help you decide whether or not to remain together. Noah Mediation Services has cultural competency around LGBT specific issues and can work with everyone toward better communication and understanding.
* The information provided is not intended as legal advice and shall not be construed as such. Information has been summarized from resources provided by Lambda Legal: http://www.lambdalegal.org/