In June 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that same sex marriage was legal in all 50 states. This means that all Georgia marriage laws, including ones applicable to prenuptial agreements, apply to the same way to same sex couples as they do to heterosexual ones. But, there are some unique issues pertaining to some same sex marriages that need to be addressed. Family law attorneys strongly urge same-sex couples to draft a prenuptial agreement considering, at a minimum, the following issues.
- How long they have lived together as though married. Many same sex couples have lived together for many years. One party may have stayed home with the children while the other one worked outside the home. One party may have worked while the other pursued education. Will there be alimony in the event of a divorce? If so, the court will only consider the contributions of each party to the marriage from the date of the marriage. In a prenuptial agreement, the couple can make a statement about the contributions each have made to the relationship and agree upon a date earlier than the date of the marriage that can be used for making alimony decisions.
- Determine which assets and debts are joint and which are separate. The couple may have assets, such as a home, and bank accounts that are only in one of their names. Under Georgia law, assets brought into the marriage are not divided during the divorce proceedings. Only property acquired during the course of the marriage is considered marital property. A prenuptial agreement can designate these as joint assets. Debts can also be dealt with in the prenup.