Berman & Asbel, LLP

Same-Sex Partners Archives

3 estate planning tools for people in same-sex relationships

Estate planning is essential for any person. However, as this NerdWallet article points out, same-sex partners can be challenged more often than opposite-sex partners when it comes to end-of-life care and decisions. Further, the probate process can be particularly thorny when the person who passes away has estranged family members or relatives who did not agree with his or her relationship.

Prenuptial agreements for same-sex couples

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.

Mothers fight for custody in landmark case

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.

IRS equalizes taxation for same-sex couples

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.

Same-sex spousal benefits may be retroactive

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.

Court denies WNBA player's request for spousal support

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.

How same-sex divorces may be different

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.

The nationwide legalization of gay marriage

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.

Keeping personal assets secure without a prenup? It's possible

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.

Right to wed doesn't mean all same-sex couples should

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.

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