Same-sex marriage only become legal in Georgia in 2015, meaning the process of dissolving an LGBTQ marriage is uniquely complicated compared to divorces between heterosexual, cis-gender couples. LGBTQ couples often face challenges during divorce that heterosexual couples never have to think about.
Fortunately, a Forsyth County LGBTQ divorce lawyer can help you work through these problems and ensure your rights are protected every step of the way. By retaining an attorney who has experience in handling divorces between partners in the LGBTQ community, you can greatly simplify the divorce process and more effectively pursue a mutually beneficial case outcome.
Since Georgia did not officially recognize same-sex marriages until 2015, state courts may not consider marriages between members of the LGBTQ community to have “begun” until that year, which can have unexpected and significant consequences on various parts of the divorce process.
For instance, state law defines “marital property” as property acquired by either spouse after their marriage officially “began,” so equitably dividing assets or property brought into an LGBTQ relationship prior to 2015 can be uncommonly complex.
In the same vein, one of the primary factors state courts consider when making decisions regarding alimony is the length of the marriage in question, so LGBTQ divorcees may have a lot of trouble seeking a fair amount of spousal support without assistance from a dedicated Forsyth County attorney.
Seeking child custody as a LGBTQ divorcee in Forsyth County used to be virtually impossible, since non-biological parents once had no legal means of establishing “presumptive parentage” over a child born to or adopted by a same-sex partner. In 2019, though, the Georgia state legislature passed House Bill 243 into law, making it so non-biological parents can petition for custody rights upon demonstrating that they had a significant and meaningful parental relationship with the child in question.
Thanks to this new law, non-biological parents in LGBTQ relationships are effectively treated like stepparents, significantly increasing their ability to seek visitation and custody rights over a child they raised during a now-dissolved marriage. However, translating that right to seek custody into actual physical custody can still be prohibitively challenging in Forsyth County without guidance from an LGBTQ divorce lawyer.
Although both state and federal legislatures have made significant strides in establishing and enforcing the rights of LGBTQ couples, there is still room for improvement before the divorce process is completely equal for every type of marriage. In the meantime, seeking legal counsel from someone who is sensitive to the unique complexities of LGBTQ divorces may be essential to pursuing a favorable outcome.
A dedicated Forsyth County LGBTQ divorce lawyer on our team can answer any questions you have about the potential dissolution of your marriage during a confidential consultation. Call today to schedule yours.