Georgia legalized same-sex marriages in 2015. Consequently, state law also allows for LGBTQ individuals to seek the legal dissolution of their marriage, whether they first got married in Georgia or in another state prior to 2015.
However, proceeding with a divorce between members of the LGBTQ community can be complicated without guidance from a local attorney who is familiar with the unique challenges these cases typically present. Once retained, a compassionate Sandy Springs LGBTQ divorce lawyer can provide assistance in managing each stage of this process while also protecting your rights and best interests.
Local courts make no legal distinction between heterosexual marriages and LGBTQ marriages in terms of rights and privileges afforded to married couples. However, given the recency of this fundamental change in state law, there are still parts of Georgia divorce law that have not been fully updated to reflect the newfound legal status of LGBTQ marriages. This is primarily what complicates LGBTQ divorces in Sandy Springs and is the main reason why hiring an attorney with experience in helping members of the LGBTQ community can be so important.
One of the most common problems that LGBTQ couples face when seeking a divorce involves distributing shared assets. State law dictates that all property obtained by either spouse after marriage is subject to equitable division by the court. However, since marriages between LGBTQ residents of Sandy Springs did not technically “begin” until 2015, couples may face difficulties in defining and dividing shared assets regardless of whether they were in a civil union, domestic partnership, or legal marriage established in another state before 2015.
Similarly, local courts give significant weight to the “length of the marriage” when deciding whether and how much spousal support to award. As a result, LGBTQ couples often have a difficulty seeking fair support arrangements even if they have been together for years prior to 2015.
Fortunately, child custody laws have been updated to allow non-biological parents to seek custody rights based on a longstanding and significant relationship with a child. A lawyer in Sandy Springs could go into further detail about how a particular court might approach the issue of joint or separate child custody between same-sex or non-binary partners.
While any qualified divorce attorney could help establish a divorce agreement that is legally enforceable, it takes a combination of experience, expertise, and compassion to ensure that an agreement best serves a client’s needs and desires. With that in mind, not just any legal professional will do when it comes to amicably and effectively dissolving a marriage between same-sex or gender non-conforming individuals.
A seasoned Sandy Springs LGBTQ divorce lawyer can offer professional help and guidance in retaining certain marital assets, seeking a fair child custody arrangement, and ensuring your former spouse pays their fair share of child and/or spousal support after the divorce concludes. Call today to schedule a consultation.
Atlanta Divorce Law Group