How Collaborative Law Supports LGBTQ+ Couples and Families

Robin M. Mermans, Esq
March 30, 2023

At ROAD to RESOLUTION: Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Family Law, our team is committed to providing family law services to all couples and families without exceptions. We are proud to be an inclusive and welcoming law firm that has experience working with members of the LGBTQ+ community for a variety of family law needs including prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, separation and divorce, and co-parenting after separation or divorce.  

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

If you and your spouse are planning to get married, first of all – congratulations! As you prepare for your wedding, you may be considering a prenuptial agreement. A prenup, as it’s often called for short, is a legal agreement drafted and finalized prior to a marriage that outlines terms of assets and debts in case of divorce. While conversations surrounding these types of agreements – especially before a wedding – can sometimes be difficult, the interest in prenups has increased in recent years. A 2022 study from The Harris Poll in 2022 found that 15% of Americans have signed a prenup. Meanwhile, in 2010, only 3% of Americans had prenuptial agreements. The data also points to prenups being more common among younger spouses with 40% of those who signed one being between the ages of 18 and 34. Here at ROAD to RESOLUTION, we’ve worked with many couples who have chosen to pursue a prenuptial agreement due to high net worth and/or ownership of property prior to the relationship that an individual wants to retain if their marriage were to end. Oftentimes, both soon-to-be spouses have assets that they want to protect going into a marriage. Prenups can take several months to draft and finalize, especially if there are negotiations involved, so I recommend that couples start on these agreements as soon as possible and at least six months prior to their wedding.

If a couple runs out of time before their wedding to finalize a prenuptial agreement, or if they’re married for several years and regret not having a prenup in place, it’s not too late. Postnuptial agreements, also known as postnups, are similar to a prenup except they are drafted and finalized after a marriage. In recent years, these types of agreements have also been on the rise. Postnups are often of interest to couples who have faced rough patches in their marriages or those who have come into unexpected wealth. However, we’ve also seen an increase in the number of couples who are happily married and want to have this agreement in place for other reasons too. There is no time frame or window on these documents as they can be created immediately after marriage or decades later.  

Separation and Divorce

If you and your spouse decide to separate with intent to divorce, we understand how difficult this decision is to make. I have a unique personal perspective as I experienced my own divorce over 15 years ago, so I know how challenging the divorce process can be. At ROAD to RESOLUTION, we have worked with several LGBTQ+ couples who made the decision to divorce.

As a Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Family Law practice, we focus our services on alternative dispute resolution processes which keep couples out-of-court. That means there is not a third party, like a judge, making the decisions for you. During a Collaborative Divorce, you and your spouse are in control of your own outcome and resolution. I often say that this process allows couples to respectfully and thoughtfully untangle the business of their marriage. Each spouse will hire their own Collaborative-trained attorney and will sign a participation agreement. This agreement states that both parties are committed to using cooperative tactics instead of combative tactics to negotiate the issues. During the process, the spouses and their respective attorneys all come together for a series of roundtable meetings where they outline their agreement and discuss how to divide assets and debts. If children are involved, the divorcing couple will also develop a parenting plan that will work for everyone involved.

There are many benefits to choosing Collaborative Law for divorce – especially when it comes to saving time and money while avoiding unnecessary emotional turmoil. As an added benefit, if desired, couples can also develop a Collaborative Divorce team which would include other specialists. These experts serve as neutral third parties and can advise on emotional support, child custody, and financial situations. These professionals include accountants, financial experts, mental health counselors, family consultants, or child specialists who have training in the Collaborative Process. We ensure that all of the professionals brought in to work with ROAD to RESOLUTION clients during the divorce process have the same inclusivity values as our firm.

Co-Parenting Agreements

If you and your spouse are already divorced with children or you and your partner are separated with children, you may be navigating a co-parenting relationship. If you are looking for assistance with creating a co-parenting plan that is effective for both parents and the children involved, ROAD to RESOLUTION can help. When established properly, we believe that it’s possible to have a respectful co-parenting relationship, even if the personal relationship between parents is challenging or less than ideal.

I’m honored to have received extensive co-parenting training through the Mosten Guthrie Academy. This certification program focuses on using an innovative child-centered approach when developing parenting plans which focuses on the well-being of the children. No matter the differences that you and your former partner have, your children shouldn’t be impacted negatively because of it. At ROAD to RESOLUTION, we use this child-centered approach paired with my own methods to work with clients on prioritizing their family and centering decisions around the best interests of their children.

My co-parenting coaching services can help families create or update a parenting plan for separated or divorced families, resolve conflict or disagreements, address communication challenges, adapt to changing circumstances, and assess the ever-changing landscape of raising children in two households.

We’re Here to Help

The ROAD to RESOLUTION legal team can assist you with your LGBTQ+ family law needs. Please give us a call at (980) 260-1600 and we can discuss your legal opportunities with prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, separation and divorce, or co-parenting coaching. Our Charlotte-based team is here to help you and your family.

The ROAD to RESOLUTION Divorce Blog can help you differentiate the fact from the fiction, and guide you towards the support you need during this difficult time. Use our resources and services to find all the info you need—from pre-divorce education to drafting essential legal documents. Please contact us to learn more about how we can help you.

Note: This feature is intended to be informational only and shall not be construed as legal advice.

Robin M. Mermans, Esq
Founder and Principal Attorney

Related Articles

Collaborative Divorce: The Legal Side of Conscious Uncoupling

Attorney-Mediator Robin M. Mermans is dedicated to guiding you through the divorce process from a place of experience and empathy, to help ensure that your needs and concerns are addressed every step of the way.

Robin M. Mermans on the Divorce Podcast by the Divorce Lending Association

Robin M. Mermans joined The Divorce Podcast host Adam Coleman, CDLP®, to share how she found her way into Collaborative Divorce, her insights on the process, and the advantages of this alternative approach to traditional divorce.

Newly Divorced in the New Year: What to Expect with Collaborative Divorce in North Carolina

Are you starting the new year knowing you want or contemplating divorce? While this decision can be difficult and emotional, ROAD to RESOLUTION can help guide you before, during, and after the process.

Contact our law firm today to schedule an initial consultation.