Will Same Sex Marriages Lead to a Change in Family Law?
A long fought court battle has come to an end. On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court made the landmark decision to guarantee the nationwide right of same-sex couples to marry. The court held that no state has the right to refuse to recognize a same-sex marriage that has been legally carried out in another state and that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all states.
Along with this historic ruling comes all of the legal and financial responsibilities of marriage for same sex couples. Your family lawyer with My AZ Lawyers can help shed some light on those changes. Some ways the new laws may affect same-sex couples in Glendale, Arizona include:
Spousal rights of inheritance
If one partner in a same-sex marriage should die the surviving spouse will be protected under the probate code, and in the absence of a will, is the first in line for inheritance. The surviving spouse is also entitled to Social Security spousal and survivor benefits.
The right of both partners in a same-sex marriage to be named as the parents of an adopted child
In addition, when one partner in a same-sex marriage is the biological parent of a child and the other partner wishes to adopt that child, they will no longer be required to go through a lengthy adoption process and review. If the child’s other biological parent has given up their parental rights, then the adoption process can proceed as that of a step parent, which is much less complicated.
The right to divorce
The existing divorce laws now apply to same-sex couples. Although divorce statutes may differ slightly from state to state, they include the equitable division of properties attained during the marriage, the right to spousal and child support and the need to work out any parental right issues regarding any children that are a product of the marriage, including custody, visitation, and the right to participate in major decisions regarding the child.
The right to implement a prenuptial agreement
A prenuptial agreement generally defines the rules of a financial agreement in the case of a divorce, or the death of a spouse. If one marital partner comes into the marriage with a great deal more financial assets than the other this can be a wise choice and help to avoid a contentious divorce.
There are undoubtedly numerous other benefits to marriage that same-sex couples will enjoy, such as being covered on your spouse’s health insurance. There is even the marital privilege that can be used in a criminal case that precludes one spouse from being forced to testify against the other.
Should you find that you need help in navigating how this new law applies to you, contact the experienced family law attorneys at My AZ Lawyers offer free consultations.
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