With Same-Sex Marriage, Comes Equal Rights
The landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges marked a huge victory for the LGBT community, as same-sex marriage was made legal nationwide. States are now required to recognize same-sex marriages which are lawfully performed in another state.
While some spousal rights had already been extended to same-sex couples in previous rulings such as U.S. v. Windsor, many rights were still left out. In making this ruling, the Supreme Court extended the same spousal rights to same-sex couples as heterosexual couples enjoy.
Some of the rights married same-sex couples now enjoy include:
Prior to the SCOTUS ruling, same-sex couples could not utilize a number of Social Security benefits which were available to heterosexual couples. If one spouse is receiving a larger Social Security payment than the other, they can now get the payment increased to half of the larger payment.
Health and Medical Benefits
Now that same-sex marriage is legal, couples can take advantage of employer-provided health benefits which are extended to other married couples. This decision will also permit same-sex spouses to make important health decisions if their spouse falls ill.
Spousal Rights for Same-Sex Divorce
With so many new marriages forming across the country, many divorces are statistically bound to follow. Same-sex couples now have the same spousal rights during a divorce, including division of property. When getting divorced, individuals may be entitled to an equitable division of the shared assets acquired during the marriage. These assets can include anything of value, from property and vehicles to savings and debt.
Additionally, this ruling carries huge implications for child custody and child support. The rights of same-sex parents will now be equivalent to other parents, and divorced couples can be subjected to the same court-orders on custody and visitation schedules as well. As a result, same-sex couples will now be under the same obligation to pay child support if they do not have primary custody of the child. If the court legally terminates the parental rights of one party, they will no longer be responsible for support but will have no visitation or custody rights.
Contact an Experienced Panama City Divorce Lawyer
Regardless of your age, gender or sexual orientation, divorce can be a difficult and messy process. At The Virga Law Firm, P.A., we provide compassionate and effective counsel and can help you find a quick resolution in your best interests. If you’re considering divorce or need counsel for other family law issues, call our attorney today.
Contact The Virga Law Firm, P.A. toll free at (800) 799-8086.