Fortunately, the Supreme Court ruling on June 25, 2015 legalizing same-sex marriage, means that individuals in a same-sex relationship, who were legally married, are afforded the same rights and protections in a divorce action. Unfortunately, Georgia law has not “caught up” to the Supreme Court ruling, which means there are still unique issues for same-sex couples who are divorcing, specifically when it comes to custody, alimony, determination of separate versus marital property, and even an equitable division of the marital estate.
Our attorneys at Burney & Reese have handled numerous actions involving these unique issues, and always explore alternative means of resolving issues that the Court may not be able to address. Often times these issues are addressed through mediation or other alternative means.
Using Mediation for LGBT Couples
Many opposite-sex couples are able to avoid divorce litigation in a courtroom thanks to the help of a specially trained mediator. This option is also available for same-sex couples who are seeking a dissolution of their marriage. Divorce mediation, while entirely voluntary, allows two people to end their partnership and divide assets without ever appearing before a judge in family court.
Mediation is an especially good option for former partners who are seeking an amicable resolution to their union. It can also work well despite ill feelings or bitterness that exists between the two spouses. The goal in mediation is to reach an agreement that is beneficial to both parties through discussion and negotiation. Just like litigation, mediation requires a skilled lawyer. The process, however, may be significantly faster and less costly than litigation. This means there may be less stress due to the emotional nature of divorce, and both partners can gain closure sooner.
At Burney & Reese we have helped many same-sex couples avoid the courtroom via mediation. Contact us today to set-up a consultation and see if mediation is right for your situation.
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Burney & Reese LLC
1100 Peachtree St., NE Suite 575 Atlanta, Georgia 30309