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San Diego Family Mediation Center

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Same-Sex Relationships, It's not all the Same

understanding the unique needs of you and your family

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Dissolution of Same-Sex Relationships

Domestic Partners

If you are in a Registered Domestic Partnership, and you would like to dissolve that relationship, some steps have to be taken to do so. I have come across quite a few couples that do not believe that their partnership is, in fact, a legal relationship. I have met with couples who have remarried in another state and had a child with their new spouse and had no idea they were in fact still legally tied to their former domestic partner. This can cause serious legal ramifications, such as the second relationship (the marriage) is not valid and the child’s parent being presumptively the former partner.  If you are seeking to dissolve a former domestic partnership, contact us and we can help you understand what steps you need to take to make sure it is done properly. We can also mediate any issues between you and your spouse, to help resolve any remaining issues amicably.


While the process of dissolving a same-sex marriage is no different than dissolving a traditional marriage, there is often very various problems present. Do to the inability to marry for such a long time (and in some states still); many same-sex partners cohabitate long before they were actually wed. This can provide a handful of issues not present in a traditional divorce.

Moreover, there are often cases where the marriage was entered into without the parties being aware of what the ramifications are of such a legal relationship.

Because there are issues unique to same-sex relationships and marriages, it is important that you work with a firm who is aware of these issues and handles them regularly.  At SDFMC, we strive to stay on top of the ever-changing landscape of same-sex marriages (and dissolutions).

Non-marital relationships (Marvin Actions)

A “Marvin action” is an action to help couples divide assets jointly obtained during a period of cohabitation, but not marriage. There is no such thing as common law marriage, even though some still hold the misbelief there is.

Marvin actions can be very complex and very expensive. For this reason, it is always a good idea to try to talk through some of the issues before you head down this road. Mediation is a neutral and safe environment to do so.

Want assistance with dissolving your same-sex relationship? Contact the mediators at San Diego Family Mediation Center. Call (858) 736-2411 for more information. 

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