In 2015, the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage to be legal in all states. Before the decision, only 19 states recognized these marriages. Now that they are recognized nationwide, these couples can access the same benefits available to heterosexual couples. However, the responsibilities during divorce are the same as well. Read on to learn about the rights, benefits, and responsibilities included in same-sex marriages.
Benefits and Rights in Same-Sex Unions
Marriage offers many benefits, including the ability to jointly file taxes. Same-sex spouses can collect on the other party’s employer-sponsored insurance, and they can make healthcare decisions in the event of the other partner’s incapacitation. Same-sex couples have an automatic standing during probate proceedings, and they enjoy marital communications privileges .
Legally Gaining Marital Rights
It is common for same-sex couples to cross state borders to marry. However, some areas have residency restrictions, and there is a high potential for fraud. There isn’t a guarantee that the couple’s jurisdiction will recognize the union, and the divorce process can be complex as well. If a gay couple needs to dissolve a marriage, they should consult a Same Sex Divorce Attorney with The Law Offices of Elan Wurtzel for advice.
Living Wills and Trusts
If two same-sex people are in a relationship and want to be able to make healthcare decisions on the other person’s behalf, a living will or a durable power of attorney can help. Although spouses gain the rights to an estate through probate law, same-sex spouses often have difficulty being heard in probate court. By hiring an attorney, couples can get all of the same protections afforded to heterosexual couples.
Does the Couple Need a Lawyer?
Every jurisdiction varies as to its recognition of same-sex marital rights. If a person is in a committed same-sex relationship, or if they need a divorce, they should consult an attorney as soon as possible. The laws on same-sex marriage face constant challenges, and many are successful. The right Same Sex Divorce Attorney can help couples plan for the future, whether it’s together or apart.