Marriage for LGBT+ and Georgia Family Law
Getting married introduces a wide range of considerations for all couples. But LGBT+ couples have unique needs that require an understanding of family law in Georgia.
Marriage laws are essential to the wellbeing of you and your family. The federal government now recognizes same-sex marriage, giving LGBT+ individuals the same rights that heterosexual couples have always had.
But state laws related to various aspects of marriage can still vary, making it even more important for LGBT+ couples to get the legal resources they need before and during their marriage.
Protecting LGBT+ in Marriage
Like all couples, members of the LGBT+ community seek the same benefits and protections when it comes to marriage.
Married couples typically buy homes and have children over time. But life-changing events such as divorce or the death of a partner must also be considered for LGBT+ couples.
LGBT+ marriages are protected at varying levels depending on where you live. This can also apply to the children of LGBT+ couples, making marriage laws complex and often difficult to understand.
Rights related to the inheritance of property, hospital visitation, guardianship, parental responsibilities, and the division of property need to be outlined and understood.
Consulting with an experienced and expert family law attorney in Georgia is the first step for LGBT+ couples to get the protection they need in marriage.
Same-Sex Marriage in Georgia
In addition to marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships have been options that couples can use to establish certain legal rights. But domestic partnerships and civil unions offer limited rights when compared to marriage.
These partnerships can also allow employers to provide benefits to the partners of employees. But those same partners may not receive the same level of legal protection from the state.
Since same-sex marriage was legalized on a federal level in the United States, LGBT+ couples have been able to obtain rights related to decision-making in medical emergencies, tax benefits, and spousal benefits such as healthcare coverage and workers’ compensation.
All states must recognize same-sex marriages under federal law. A ban or the refusal to recognize same-sex marriage on the state level are seen as an infringement on equal protection rights.
Legal Benefits and Protection of Marriage for LGBT+
Any property obtained by unmarried couples remains under the ownership of the person who obtained it. When individuals marry, any property they acquire during the time of the marriage is considered to be owned by both parties.
The same principle applies to LGBT+ couples. This is also important to consider should a couple decide to divorce. A jointly owned property will need to be divided as part of the divorce agreement.
The legal status of any couple is important when addressing issues related to children. Married partners can share parental responsibilities and rights, and these rights can also be impacted by divorce.
Establishing the rights you need as parents can be done with the help of a legal professional who understands the unique needs and circumstances of LGBT+ couples.
Adoption can further complicate legal rights, and you can consult with your family law attorney to determine the best ways to protect the best interests of the family.
Other aspects of family law include taxes and the death of a loved one. Some taxes don’t apply to married couples, so you need to make sure you take advantage of all of the benefits afforded to all marriages.
Your family law attorney can help you protect rights related to government benefits, immigration, life insurance, and financial matters. LGBT+ married couples are entitled to the same protections and benefits as heterosexual couples.
The more you understand family law in Georgia while having an expert attorney on your side, the more peace of mind and security you can have as a couple and as a family.