On May 20, 2014, a federal judge in Pennsylvania issued a ruling for which many couples in the state had been praying: the judge struck down a ban on gay marriage earlier that day. The May decision has opened the doors for same-sex couples in the state, allowing those in love to finally tie the knot by saying “I do.”
Marriage often brings with it a slew of other legal issues, especially when children are involved. If you are getting married or otherwise need family law help in relation to a same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania, the attorneys at ARM Lawyers, will work as your legal advocates.
Legal Issues Our Firm Handles
Our firm can help with you a variety of complicated family law issues. The legal issues that our firm handles are listed below.
If you have questions about your rights and options as a same-sex couple, you need an attorney who is committed to working on your behalf with the determination and legal knowledge it takes to make sure that you’re represented fairly.
Economic Benefits of Gay Marriage
The ruling allowing same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania may yield some financial benefits for those who pursue it.
First of all, getting married to your partner means that you will now have the right to receive property settlements and spousal support (alimony) in the event of a divorce, assuming a prenuptial agreement hasn’t been signed that prohibits either.
Additionally, you’ll also be able to recover benefits from retirement plans and Social Security in the event that your spouse dies before you do. You’d also be the rightful inheritor of any property belonging to your spouse in the absence of a will.
The tax benefits provided to married couples are also numerous. Married couples can receive greater charitable contribution deductions, receive the largest standard deduction provided by the IRS, and may even qualify for what the IRS calls a “marital deduction” when it comes to estate taxes (you can transfer assets to your spouse without paying the federal estate tax). Of course, another huge benefit to getting married is that you may get health or dental insurance through your spouse.
How to Get Legally Married in Pennsylvania
If you and your partner want to get married in Pennsylvania, the first thing you need to do is apply for a marriage license. There is a three-day waiting period after the application for a marriage license has been filed. Following the waiting period, you can pick up your marriage license or have it mailed to you. Having a marriage ceremony is optional.
If you have a domestic partnership, it is important to note that in Pennsylvania, a domestic partnership is not recognized as a marriage. If you want to get married, you will have to apply for a marriage license. If you have been married in another state, your marriage will be recognized in Pennsylvania.
Additionally, the federal government will also recognize your marriage. A 2013 announcement published by the IRS states that the IRS and the U.S. Department of the Treasury will treat all couples legally married as married for tax purposes.