Same Sex Marriages

As of June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in the case Obergefell vs. Hodges that same sex marriage is now legal in all fifty (50) states. Prior to June 26, 2015, the State of Georgia had absolutely prohibited same sex couples from getting married; additionally, the State of Georgia would not recognize the marriages of same sex couples who were legally married in other states or countries that already recognized same sex marriages, either through the legislative process or judicial decree. Nevertheless, based upon the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell vs. Hodges, the State of Georgia now allows same sex couples to get married, as well as recognizes such marriages that occurred in jurisdictions other than the State of Georgia.

Along with the right to now marry in the State of Georgia, there is also the ancillary right to obtain a divorce. Therefore, as a consequence of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell vs. Hodges, the laws pertaining to divorce, alimony, custody, child support, equitable division of property, and custody are now equally applicable to all married couples. However, those laws were written for heterosexual couples, without any thought being given for differences in their application to same sex married couples. For example, under Georgia law, there is a presumption that a child born in wedlock or within the usual period of gestation, is legitimate, giving both spouses equal parental rights. With a same sex couple, with one partner giving birth to a child, there is a third party involved (e.g., birth mother, birth mother’s partner, and the biological father) such that additional steps may need to be taken in order to protect the rights of both spouses in a same sex marriage (e.g., adoption, etc.) until such time as the Georgia State Legislature makes the necessary changes to the State’s current statutes. In addition, with regard to financial and property issues that arise in a divorce case, a same sex couple may want to avail themselves of a pre-nuptial agreement, as a way to define and insure the same rights that have long existed for heterosexual couples until the Georgia State Legislature specifically defines their rights and obligations, and bridges this gap in the current status of the law.

We, at Kupferman & Golden, Attorneys at law, know that when couples, any couples, are in the throes of discussing and planning their wedding, the legal consequences of their wedding are the last issues on their minds. However, there simply is no substitute for preparation, and the right information and advice given beforehand can save a lot of aggravation and disappointment down the road. Kupferman & Golden, Attorneys at Law, is well positioned to navigate the waters of this new area of domestic and family law in the State of Georgia. We are eager to finally be able to provide this type of legal representation to all residents in the State of Georgia. Give us a call today for a free consultation to discuss your situation.

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From offices in Atlanta, Kupferman & Golden, Attorneys at Law, advises and represents clients in communities in metro-Atlanta, Georgia, including Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Cobb County, DeKalb County, Cherokee County, Hall County, Douglas County, Clayton County, and Forsyth County, including the communities of Buckhead, Decatur, Marietta, Alpharetta, Cumming, Lawrenceville, Duluth, Dunwoody, Johns Creek, Roswell, Smyrna, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven and Norcross, Georgia.