Archive for June, 2015

Legal Gay Marriage in Atlanta is Here

Posted on: June 30th, 2015

As of June 26, legal gay marriage in Atlanta is here to stay. Our law firm, who has an almost 15 year track record of supporting the rights of LGBT Georgians, is thrilled. In the past, our lawyers advocated for protections of our gay and lesbian clients in creative ways, given that same-sex Georgia couples were not able to access the same legal privileges that heterosexual married couples were automatically granted. Now that marriage equality is the law of the land and, and the law in Georgia, same-sex couples now have access to the legal protections as have long existed for different sex couples.

Atlanta Lesbian DivorcePrenuptial Agreements may offer some peace of mind. Prenuptial legal counseling is just one of the services that we encourage all couples to seek in advance of their wedding. One of our attorneys will meet with you to assess the types of protections available, and work with you to craft a Prenuptial Agreement that best suits your individual needs. We will prepare a plan to help you protect yourself and your assets before you say your vows.

Gay or straight, marriage involves significant legal rights and responsibilities. Before you prepare for the ceremony, prepare for the life after marriage. Call one of our attorneys to schedule a consultation to ensure that you are armed with all of the important legal knowledge you need to know before linking your life to someone else. Then, walk happily down the aisle with your beloved.

We’ve Always Been an Atlanta LGBT Law Firm

Posted on: June 19th, 2015

Cover PhotoKitchens New Cleghorn, LLC has always been an Atlanta LGBT law firm. That is, we’ve been serving the individual and business legal needs of Atlanta’s LGBT community since 2001. Our lawyers have represented LGBT people and their families inside and outside of courtroom across the State of Georgia, on legal issues as diverse as our clients. Specifically, we have assisted same-sex couples in putting their relationships together, via adoption, domestic partnership agreements, powers of attorney, advance health care directives, and Last Will and Testaments. We have also represented gay and lesbian people in taking their relationships apart, via domestic partnership dissolutions, property division issues, and child custody and support issues.

In recent months, our family law attorneys have assisted many same-sex couples in preparing pre-nuptial agreements, in advance of their traveling to a pro-marriage State to be married. Sadly, we are also now representing some LGBT individuals in their divorce actions, working within the legal system to do what is possible as we await the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, expected any day now.

Kitchens New Cleghorn, LLC has represented, pro bono, LGBT clients on behalf of Lambda Legal and Immigration Equality. Specifically, we successfully represented a lesbian mother in retaining her parental rights to her child, and we represented a gay man seeking asylum by fleeing his home in a dangerous, “kill the gays” African country.

Our lawyers have served on Boards of Directors at various LGBT advocacy groups, including Georgia Equality. We also currently serve as pro bono legal counsel for Atlanta PRIDE and the Atlanta Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

One of our partners, Jeff Cleghorn, received HRC’s Dan Bradley Humanitarian Award for his work in helping the LGBT community through his volunteerism in the Servicemember’s Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and for helping to pass the repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Our LGBT clients have turning to Kitchens New Cleghorn, LLC for almost 15 years to help them secure protections for themselves and their families or their businesses.. We have always been here for the LGBT community and we always will be.

Gay Marriage Purgatory | Atlanta Gay Divorce

Posted on: June 12th, 2015

Atlanta Gay DivorceOur Atlanta firm handles a lot of legal issues for our clients, including divorce. What we are now gearing up for (with the pending U.S. Supreme Court decision about marriage equality) is Atlanta gay divorce. Our office has been receiving a lot of calls from couples living in what we call “gay marriage purgatory”. In fact, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution recently interviewed one of our partners, Jeff Cleghorn, about this topic.

Gay and lesbian couples from Georgia traveled to other states (where same-sex marriage is legal) and were married there. As sometimes happens with marriage, couples decide to part ways and want to divorce. The problem is, Georgia doesn’t recognize their marriages as legal and, therefore, will not grant them divorces.

All states have residency requirements as a condition of using their divorce courts. In other words, the general rule is that a person may get divorced only in the state where they live. For married same-sex couples whose states do not allow them access to their divorce courts (states such as Georgia), it can be frustrating because most people cannot afford to move to a different state simply to be able to get divorced. As a result, married same-sex couples in Georgia are trapped in limbo and have only very expensive (and inconvenient) options for relief.

Our Atlanta law firm has provided personal and business legal services to the gay and lesbian community for over 13 years. We eagerly await a landmark ruling that will soon allow our Atlanta law firm to begin to serve these couples in standard divorces through established channels. If you or someone you know feel trapped in “gay marriage purgatory”, please call our offices to speak with an attorney to better understand your legal options.

Meet Our Legal Assistant, Wanda Melton | Atlanta Divorce Law Firm

Posted on: June 8th, 2015

Atlanta Gay Divorce AttorneyOur Atlanta divorce law firm hires only the most talented and competent individuals. We often get compliments on our attorneys and their superior legal work, but we also get compliments on our amazing support staff. Wanda Melton, our legal assistant, is someone that our clients absolutely LOVE. She is professional, personable and she does an amazing job at supporting our team. We thought it was time that those of you who don’t know her get a chance to meet her.

Wanda, how long have you been at KNC?

Wanda: I’ve been here for 4 years and a week!

Tell us a bit about your family.

I’m the proud “Grammy” of two little girls – ages 2 and 9. They are so much sweeter than their mothers – my daughters!!

Where are you from?

I’m a North Carolina native and still have older family there – East of Raleigh. My parents brought me to GA in 1967 (I was a mere babe.)

Where did you get your education?

I have a degree in Education from Brenau University and a Paralegal Certificate from Clayton State University.

What type of work have you done in the past?

I’ve been an administrative/executive assistant for most of my career. I “retired” as an AT&T employee in 2007. I was officially an AT&T employee for 6 weeks after the AT&T /Bellsouth merger. I was at Bellsouth for a little over 18 years. While there, I worked in Treasury, Accounting, Mergers & Acquisitions and Legal departments.

In the interval between BellSouth and KNC, I worked at Emory University and GulfStream Aerospace in Savannah.

What is the best part about working at KNC?

I really enjoy the interaction with our clients – something I never did at BLS. Also, it’s good to know that we (the team) are really helping folks with difficult problems that greatly impact their lives.

What do you like most about the KNC clients?

I enjoy being able to contribute to the resolution of serious problems. Folks are genuinely grateful for the assistance. That’s a very gratifying thing to experience on a daily basis.

What do you like most about the KNC staff?
I have the utmost respect for the intelligence and capabilities of the attorneys. It’s a pleasure to work with such exemplary people.

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Divorcing? What You Should Know About a Standing Order

Posted on: June 3rd, 2015

gavel-568417_640When we are advising in divorce cases, our Atlanta law firm goes out of our way to make sure that our clients know some of the very basics of divorce. One important issue that comes up in Georgia divorce is something called a “standing order”.

This order, also known as a “mutual restraining order”, automatically goes into effect upon filing for a divorce. It is designed to “restrain” one party from disadvantaging the other by suddenly accumulating “marital” debt (by buying cars, jewelry, etc.), selling off marital assets, or hiding assets from the court.

The courts understand that sometimes doing something out of the ordinary with finances is necessary so it allows for an exception when the other party gives consent. Otherwise, parties should not change (increase) spending habits, remove assets from the home or jurisdiction of the court or to sell marital property without the consent of your spouse.

As a side note to hiding assets, this article by Forbes details the most common ways that spouses hide assets from each other and it’s not what you might think. Undervaluing property, overstating marital debt and fudging actual income and expenses are all ways that someone can cheat their soon to be ex. The best advice is for you to retain legal counsel to assist you in ensuring that all marital assets and liabilities are properly documented.

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