A 2015 Supreme Court decision legalized same-sex marriage in the United States, and with that comes the need for divorce between LGBTQ partners. The law treats all marriages equally, meaning all couples are also viewed the same in the eyes of the law during a divorce.
In any marriage, the divorce process can be stressful and overwhelming, especially when children are involved. Divorced spouses will need to learn to work together when co-parenting their children regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
While some couples end their relationship amicably, others have disparate views on custody arrangements and asset division, for example, likely creating a more contentious atmosphere. Consider working with an Alpharetta LGBTQ divorce lawyer to ensure your rights and best interest are protected. A skilled attorney can guide you through the divorce process and help you achieve a favorable outcome.
The division of a couple’s wealth and assets is an important part of a same-sex divorce. Couples who spend years together often acquire property such as cars, homes, investments, and other large assets that must be divided during the dissolution of their marriage. In Alpharetta, the courts must distribute community (jointly owned) property in a way they deem to be fair and equitable.
The equitable division of assets is not always evenly divided. This is because assets have different values, and the parties likely have disparate incomes. An Alpharetta attorney can help a member of the LGBTQ community ensure that the final division of assets protects their property rights.
Assets obtained before marriage are considered separate property and are not part of the marital estate, meaning they will not be divided between divorcing spouses. Additionally, inheritance received at any point would remain under sole ownership in the event of an LGBTQ divorce. However, courts in Georgia are considering the length of time in the relationship in many LGBTQ divorces due to the denial of the right to be married prior to 2015.
Local courts must create a custody arrangement for divorcing couples who share children, regardless of whether they are same-sex, opposite sexes, or gender non-binary. The law prioritizes children’s needs above all else during a divorce, making the parents’ genders irrelevant for custody decisions. In many cases, parents will share custody, and the court will create a schedule for them to share time with their kids.
There are two forms of custody: legal and physical. An LGBTQ parent with sole legal custody has the right to make important decisions for their child on matters such as medical care and education without consulting their co-parent. Parents may share legal custody; however, someone must have final decision-making power in the areas designated by the law.
Physical custody, which indicates who the child will live with most of the time, is often shared between parents. Alternatively, one party might be the primary custodial parent while the other has visitation time. The courts must consider many factors when creating these arrangements, so it is wise to have a dedicated lawyer by your side during an LGBTQ divorce to help you present evidence in support of your desired child-sharing arrangement.
Divorces are challenging and difficult for most couples, regardless of gender. Dissolving a marriage involves many negotiations and sometimes heated litigation. No matter how contentious your case is, you can benefit from the assistance of a well-versed Alpharetta LGBTQ divorce lawyer. Schedule your consultation with our firm as soon as possible to get started.