The law on same-sex marriage is a bit nuanced. The decision allowing same-sex marriage came as a Supreme Court order and not a formal change of any laws. So, Georgia’s statutes actually still say people can’t get married if they’re the same sex. This creates a complicated relationship between federal and state law.
There are also other issues that don’t affect heterosexual marriages. For instance, many same-sex couples get married in another state, but that marriage isn’t recognized by Georgia, so the date of marriage can also be nuanced.
It’s important to hire a Gwinnett County LGBTQ divorce lawyer who understands these nuances and how they can affect families. One of our team members can help you understand the relevant laws and achieve a positive case outcome on your behalf.
One major benefit of a marital agreement for same sex couples which differs for heterosexual couples is that they can work out certain limited issues of child custody. Heterosexual couples can’t agree on child-sharing arrangements before divorcing or getting married, but LGBTQ couples can agree that they will both be parents, which is especially helpful when one of them is the biological parent and the other is not.
Many same-sex and gender non-conforming couples base their marriage on living together and acting as a married couple without having been legally married. Same-sex couples who weren’t legally married until the Supreme Court decision may have been together for 35 years, for example, but only married for three or four. For this reason, there is often some nuance to determining equitable division between same-sex couples in Gwinnett County.
For instance, parties who have a pension or retirement account may have always planned on one party providing retirement for both people. If they’ve only been married for a minute compared to their long term relationship, the divorcing party may not be equally entitled to that retirement even though it was always the plan to use the retirement in that way. The same goes for all assets accumulated during their relationship.
Sharing custody with a non-biological parent who wants the access and rights of a biological parent can be complicated if there has been no adoption of the child. They may have to show that the biological parent is unfit if they don’t have an agreement for both parties. It is therefore especially crucial for same-sex couples to retain legal assistance from an attorney for any matters related to child custody and parental rights.
The laws are set up so that the mother is the default parent, but now, with more modern families, the parenting duties are shared equally between mom and dad, so LGBTQ couples are going to have to determine what parenting roles each of them fulfill as well as what kind of scheduling and decision making arrangements make the most sense for their family.
A member of our team can make arguments which are not legal in nature but are instead equitable in nature that these issues should be resolved contrary to the standard. A Gwinnett County LGBTQ divorce lawyer can also anticipate potential challenges so you can negotiate them ahead of time before things get too complicated. Call our intake team today to learn more about the nuances of same-sex divorces.