Many couples that get married in Pennsylvania consider setting up a prenuptial agreement. Young couples with few assets and no children from previous relationships may find that a prenuptial agreement is not necessary. Conversely, a person who is getting married later in life or entering into a second marriage may decide that a prenuptial agreement is worth the effort and expense.
Same-sex couples in Pennsylvania may have heard about a Michigan case between two women who split up in December 2014. According to news reports, the pair had two daughters that were both birthed by one of the women after she obtained donor sperm. Because the couple was never legally married, however, the courts now have to decide who will be awarded custody.
Same-sex couples in Pennsylvania may be interested to learn that the IRS has now stated that the agency will recognize same-sex marriages no matter where they live in the country. This means that couples will be able to file as married even in the 13 states that still have not legalized same-sex marriage.
A Pennsylvania court ruled that an individual's same-sex common law marriage dating from 2001 was legal for retroactive purposes of allowing the surviving spouse various death benefits even though the marriage had commenced prior to its legal recognition in the state. Since the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage throughout the United States, several other people are seeking retroactive recognition of their marriages.
Pennsylvania WNBA fans may be interested to learn that, on Aug. 20, it was announced that a judge denied Glory Johnson's request for alimony from her ex-wife Brittney Griner. The pro basketball player reportedly requested $20,000 a month in addition to attorney's fees.
While the momentous U.S. Supreme Court decision in June 2015 guaranteed that same-sex couples in Pennsylvania and across the country would be able to marry, the ability for these individuals to divorce is unchartered legal territory. The decision brought about speculation as to how a divorce between same-sex partners would be different than one for opposite-sex couples.
Just over a year ago, same-sex marriage became legal in Pennsylvania. In mid-May, our state became one of many to recognize same-sex marriages. That decision was the result of a ruling by a federal judge, who declared Pennsylvania's gay marriage ban was unconstitutional. While that decision was not appealed by then-Governor Tom Corbett, there remained the possibility of that decision coming into question once the U.S. Supreme Court took up the issue.
There can be a great deal of value for a couple to have either a pre- or post-marital agreement in place as a means of protecting personal assets in the event they go their separate ways. Whether the couple is heterosexual or of the same sex, individuals these days often bring a lot of personal assets with them into the union.
Same-sex marriage is currently legal in most states, including Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. Indeed, the shift has happened so fast and acceptance has been so broad that the issue almost seemed to be in simmer mode until the religious freedom law in Indiana sparked it back to a high rolling boil.