Priscilla Seaborg,
Attorney at Law

Entering a same-sex marriage? Know the legal pros and cons

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2018 | blog |

Ever since same-sex marriage was legalized throughout the United States in 2015, many LGBTQ couples have been eager to walk down the aisle. Marriage can be a beautiful ceremony to cement a couple’s commitment to each other. It can also be a big legal hassle.

Gay couples face several unique challenges when it comes to getting married. It is important to take these into consideration in advance so that you and your partner can decide how to handle them. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the potential pros and cons of same-sex marriage.

The pros

Legally married can significantly affect your rights as parents if you and your partner wish to have children. In the event that you divorce, you will both have legal grounds to pursue custody of the child. If you wish to adopt children, marriage can be a huge benefit: States are not allowed to deny adoption to same-sex couples who are married. If you choose to have children without getting married, you may face legal hurdles regarding custody and visitation if you two split up.

Marriage also has many financial incentives. Couples who are married get to claim two personal exemptions on your tax return. Married couples filing jointly also have the highest standard deduction allowed on federal tax returns. In addition, the government provides several financial incentives to get married, including unpaid family work leave and Social Security and healthcare benefits.

The cons

Though the pros are appealing, you and your partner should also be aware of several cons to getting married. Marriage, however romantic, is still a legal process that comes with its fair share of red tape and bureaucracy. If you and your partner ever separate, the process may be just as acrimonious as it is for many straight couples. While there are few, if any, legal issues to deal with when breaking up with a girlfriend or boyfriend, divorce is another beast. Dividing property, reaching a custody agreement and settling alimony payments are all topics that you may have to consider. After all, same-sex marriages grant LGBTQ couples the same marital rights as straight couples, and that includes divorce.

Deciding whether to marry

If you have read this far in our post, you and your partner are probably thinking seriously about tying the knot. If you are ready to get married, you should begin planning your next steps. An LGBTQ-friendly attorney who specializes in family law can help you get started on this exciting new chapter.