June is Pride Month and for people who are in an unhappy same-sex marriage or civil partnership, that can be a challenging time instead of one of celebration.
Wanting to divorce a same-sex partner can feel like a betrayal of your community – especially if you were among the first same-sex marriages when they were legalised in 2014.
Some same-sex married couples have been together for much longer than that, including those who were in civil partnerships in the years before marriage became an option.
But just because you are in a same-sex relationship, it does not mean you should feel trapped, and same-sex mediation is available to help you divorce or dissolve your legal commitment with the minimum of stress and emotional upheaval.
Same-sex divorce is on the rise
Because of how recently same-sex marriage was introduced, it makes sense that the number of same-sex divorces is increasing quickly.
In 2017, the most recent complete data available, more than 330 same-sex couples divorced – this figure specifically relates to same-sex divorce among married couples, and does not include civil partnerships.
Three quarters of same-sex divorces involved female couples, with unreasonable behaviour the most commonly cited reason, accounting for 83% of female divorces and 73% of male divorces.
Again, this is partly because same-sex marriages are so new – the option to divorce by long-term separation is not yet available to many couples – and also because the legal definition of ‘adultery’ does not include cheating on a partner with a member of the same sex.
How to proceed with same-sex divorce
The limitations mentioned above don’t mean you should feel trapped in a same-sex marriage, as ‘same-sex adultery’ falls under the remit of unreasonable behaviour and can be used as grounds for divorce.
Importantly, same-sex mediation services help to keep things amicable and progressing as quickly and smoothly as possible, to release both parties from the marriage with minimal stress.
Same-sex mediation for civil partnerships is also available – so while the numbers above only relate to divorce, Marcia Mediation can also help with civil partnership dissolution.
In all cases our aim is to allow you to dissolve or divorce with dignity. A failed relationship does not define you as a person – and with our help, we hope you can continue to take pride in who you are.