Same-Sex Marriage and Divorce

Pennsylvania Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

On May 20, 2014, Federal Judge John E. Jones, III decided that Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, stating that this ban violates the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the United States Constitution. Pennsylvania will now recognize not only out-of-state marriages, but will also permit same-sex couples to marry in the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has thirty days to appeal this ruling.

As seen on the news and reported in the printed and electronic press, same-sex couples immediately began applying for marriage licenses throughout Pennsylvania.

As you may recall, approximately one year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court in the Windsor Case ruled that the portion of DOMA, which is the Defense of Marriage Act, which limited marriage to a marriage between a woman and a man was unconstitutional.

There are a number of implications to this ruling; from a legal perspective as well as an accounting (tax filing status and other financial considerations). There are likewise Estate Planning implications, with regard to the Last Will and Testament, and other Estate documents prepared for same-sex couples. People should speak with not only their legal advisors, but also their financial and accounting advisors.

There are also serious changes to the transfer of wealth at the death of one party to a same-sex marriage.

For more information on same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania, contact Lee A. Schwartz – a Philadelphia LGBT Family Law Attorney – today at (215) 967-9070 for a consultation.

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