For most of Georgia’s history, same-sex couples were not allowed to get married. This doesn’t mean that there weren’t LGBTQ couples in Georgia, of course, but simply that they were only allowed to cohabitate and could not be legally married. To do that, they would have to go to a different state. As a result, most residents never really wondered about the legality of same-sex divorce.
However, that all changed in 2015, when same-sex marriage was legalized across the entire country. Due to this federal ruling, states were then compelled to honor these marriages. An offshoot of this is that LGBTQ divorce also became legal in Georgia, because there was an obligation for the courts to be able to dissolve these marriages that they could now create.
In fact, according to some reports, there were those who were very relieved when this legal change came simply because they had been waiting to get divorced and were unable to do so. The state didn’t recognize their marriage, but it was still legally binding since it happened in a different state, and so they could not get divorced in Georgia. After 2015, they finally could.
Why can it get complicated?
The big reason why these divorce cases get complicated is just that couples have probably been together for a lot longer than they have been married. This can create some problems and trying to determine exactly what to do about dividing assets or what will actually be fair in the situation.
For example, the default for opposite-sex couples is that only items purchased after they got married count as marital assets. But what if the same-sex couples had been living together for 20 years, and they weren’t legally allowed to get married? They would still buy assets that they owned together. Do those count as marital assets that need to be divided, what does that only start in 2015, when that couple could theoretically get married?
When things do get complicated, it’s very important for all involved to understand exactly what legal options they have.