Marriage and Family Law for LGBT+ Couples
The federal legalization of same-sex marriage gave the LGBT+ community the legal right to marry whomever they choose.
Legally recognized same-sex marriage affords lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered individuals the same benefits that heterosexual couples have always had.
The following gives you the information you need to consider to be married under Georgia state law while protecting your legal rights and interests.
Same-Sex Legalization in Georgia
The United States legalized same-sex marriage in June 2015. Until then, Georgia did not recognize same-sex marriage as a result of its Constitutional Amendment 1, which had been passed in 2004.
After federal legalization, Georgia’s Attorney General Sam Olens assured the public that the state would abide by the court’s ruling, allowing for the first same-sex marriage in Georgia to take place soon after.
Georgia counties began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and many LGBT+ couples sought legal advice to ensure that they proceeded according to the rules and regulations in place for all marriages.
Consulting with an experienced family attorney who understands the unique needs of LGBT+ couples gives you the resources you need to prevent any issues.
How LGBT+ Can Marry in Georgia
In order for any person to get married in Georgia, they must be at least 18 years old and not have an undissolved marriage or living spouse. Individuals must also be legally competent to join in a civil contract.
For same-sex couples, the process of obtaining a marriage license is the same as it is for a heterosexual couple. Marriage licenses are available anywhere throughout Georgia for state residents. Non-residents need to apply in the county where they plan to get married.
Couples need to go to their county’s probate court and provide a valid identification such as a passport, driver’s license, or birth certificate.
You need to pay a fee in order to receive your license, but this fee can be lowered for couples who have completed a premarital education program.
You also have to have a judge, minister, clergyman, justice of the peace, or pastor officiate your marriage as well as have two witnesses present for your marriage to be valid.
Legal Considerations for LGBT+ Marriage
If you were married in a different jurisdiction, Georgia is still obligated to recognize your marriage status.
For couples who’ve entered a civil union or registered as domestic partners in a different state, these statuses won’t be recognized by Georgia’s state government.
A family law attorney who understands the unique needs of LGBT+ couples can help you determine your legal rights under federal and state laws.
Other considerations include spousal employment benefits such as family medical leave and health coverage. Same-sex spouses are entitled to these and other benefits in the same manner as all other couples.
An attorney can help you secure any benefits that you’re entitled to if they’ve been denied to you by an employer. Family law professionals have the expertise you need to address a wide range of issues.
LGBT+ couples can take the legal steps they need to protect their marriage status, obtain the benefits granted to all married couples, care for children and other loved ones, and protect the wellbeing of the entire family.
Working with the right family law attorney helps LGBT+ couples understand their legal rights and the steps required to obtain a marriage license in Georgia.