It hasn’t even been a decade yet since members of the LGBT+ community secured the right to marriage at a federal level. However, many marriages don’t last a decade, which means that divorce equality has recently become a hot topic.
Just like heterosexual couples, LGBT+ couples may eventually find that they grow apart or that their marriage is no longer as healthy or happy as they would wish it were. When an LGBT couple decides to call it quits, there can be a few complicating factors.
For example, asset division can sometimes become more complicated in same-sex divorces because couples may have had to wait decades to get married.
How a delayed marriage might impact property division
Long before it was socially acceptable or even safe for same-sex couples to acknowledge the nature of their relationship, some people chose to take the chance involved in living together and sharing a household and finances. You may have been a committed couple for decades before the Supreme Court ruled to extend marriage protections to the LGBT+ community.
Although Georgia does not recognize common law marriage, the courts may recognize the combined finances in shared household circumstances of an unofficial civil union or an LGBT+ marriage that took place in another state because a couple wanted a legally binding ceremony.
If you had a committed and verifiable relationship long before the state legally allowed you to get married, that could have implications for how much of your property is marital property for divorce purposes. The judge in your case will have to find a way to equitably split the assets you can reasonably claim as marital or shared property.
LGBT+ divorces are still a new area of law
There have been some legal precedents established that can help guide the process of divorcing as someone in a same-sex marriage. Speaking with an attorney about both state law and legal precedent can help you better strategize for a divorce so that you protect yourself and your future financial needs with every decision that you make.
Securing a fair share of your combined or marital assets is important for someone going through a divorce.