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How to Find Support During a Same-Sex Divorce

Published August 5, 2020
If you are ending a same-sex marriage, you may find yourself facing additional pressures and emotional complexities. It’s worth it to work with a mental health professional and divorce lawyer who understand the unique needs of members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Ending a marriage is emotionally complicated, period. Whether your relationship is ending because one spouse is ready to forge ahead on a different path, or whether you have mutually decided to go your separate ways, untangling yourself from a romantic partnership takes time and effort. While there are several resources out there for heterosexual couples to seek out during this difficult time, same-sex partners may have slightly different needs or vulnerabilities during the divorce process. Let’s explore a few recommendations for individuals who may need emotional support as they navigate a same-sex divorce.

Coping With Increased Scrutiny

Some LGBTQ+ couples may struggle with feelings of failure as they make the decision to divorce. Since, in the public’s eyes, the LGBTQ+ community fought so long and so hard to legalize same-sex marriage, those who end up walking away from their marriages may find themselves facing additional scrutiny from confused family members or acquaintances. They may feel the need to defend their reasons for wanting a divorce more than a heterosexual couple would feel since many members of the public mistakenly believe that the long fight towards marriage equality means that fewer same-sex couples will end in divorce. If you are currently finding yourself having to defend your decision to divorce, remember that you do not owe anyone an explanation—the divorce process belongs to you and your ex-spouse.

Finding a Therapist Who Understands Your Needs

Going through a divorce can certainly be an emotional time, so it’s highly recommended that you meet with a mental health therapist who can offer you coping strategies and support during this challenging life transition. While most therapists can offer you helpful and comforting support, it’s probably worth it to seek out a therapist who has a background in working with members of the LBGTQ+ community. Working with a therapist who truly understands the nuances of your situation and who can address your specific emotional needs with a better-attuned sensitivity will enable you to feel supported and heard as you focus on building a brighter future.

Working With an Attorney Who Proudly Serves LGBTQ+ Clients

When it comes to choosing a divorce attorney who can help you negotiate the terms of your divorce, it’s important to feel comfortable in their presence. Sometimes, even well-meaning attorneys will have little to no experience working with same-sex couples, so their heteronormative attitudes may inadvertently show themselves. Taking the time to locate a divorce lawyer who is fully committed to serving all clients, including members of the LGBTQ+ community, is essential in making sure that you cultivate a deep trust with your attorney. Together, you can make sure you walk away from your marriage with the security and peace of mind you need in order to concentrate on the next chapter.


The dedicated divorce and family law attorneys at Lee Tyler Family Law, P.C. are here to help you successfully navigate the divorce process. We have a proud history of serving members of the LGBTQ+ community, so call (503) 233-8868 today to get started.

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