The Supreme Court’s 2015 decision striking down prohibitions against gay marriage changed the landscape for the Crabapple LGBTQ community. Same-sex couples whose only way of formalizing their relationship was to become registered domestic partners could now legally marry—and divorce.

Although the laws that apply to same-sex marriage and divorce are the same that govern opposite-sex relationships, some cultural barriers remain. Georgia courts are not always attuned to the needs of LGBTQ couples and the complications that might arise in dissolving their relationships. Fortunately, our team of progressive divorce attorneys at the Atlanta Divorce Law Group have the experience needed to handle these cases appropriately.

A Crabapple LGBTQ divorce lawyer understands the law and the practical considerations that impact marriage dissolution for a same-sex couple. Contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation with a qualified associate to learn more.

What are the Divorce Requirements for an LGBTQ Couple?

Any couple can get a divorce by affirming that the marriage has broken down and is not reconcilable. According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-5-2, the spouse initiating the petition must have lived in Georgia for at least six months. Crabapple residents must file their petition with the Clerk at the Fulton County Superior Court in Atlanta. Other requirements depend on whether the divorce is uncontested or contested.

Uncontested Divorce

A divorce decree must include orders governing child custody, child support, alimony, and the division of marital property. If spouses can settle these issues before filing for a dissolution of marriage, this is considered an uncontested divorce. Uncontested divorces have a mandatory waiting period of 31 days after filing before a Judge can sign an Order dissolving the marriage.

Contested Divorce

The process becomes a contested divorce if a couple needs the assistance of the Court prior to reaching a resolution. A dissolution of marriage can also become contested if spouses agree on the details of the divorce, but Georgia family courts find the terms unsatisfactory in some way. Couples will have the opportunity to work out areas of disagreement or error. A proactive Crabapple LGBTQ attorney can help attempt to resolve these issues in mediation. If unsuccessful, the case will typically go to trial before a judge.

Child Custody Issues in Same-Sex Divorces

Child custody issues can be particularly complex for gay couples. This is especially the case if one parent is biologically related to the child and the other is not. Georgia courts are not always sensitive to the needs of children who have developed deep attachments to both of their parents.

The best way to mitigate potential issues is for spouses to develop an agreement outlining custody and visitation plans. Georgia family courts will not usually interfere with a custody agreement that the parents developed for themselves.

If spouses cannot reach a consensus, a dedicated LGBTQ divorce attorney in Crabapple can help negotiate terms. If issues arise surrounding the parental rights of the non-biological parent, they can also provide testimony and reports to support the child’s best interests in maintaining a relationship with both individuals.

Rely on a Crabapple Attorney to Handle Your Same-Sex Divorce

Divorce is a trying ordeal, and you need help from an attorney who can provide support and sensitivity to your unique needs. Even if you have worked out all the major issues, you still need a legal professional to review your agreements and ensure they will stand up in family court.

A trusted Crabapple LGBTQ divorce lawyer can be a strong advocate when you need one. Contact our team at the Atlanta Divorce Law Group as soon as you and your partner start seriously considering divorce.

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