In the wake of the United States Supreme Court decision to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, same-sex couples across the country have wondered what this means for them. In Maryland, some same-sex couples will have access to benefits to which they were not previously entitled.
When a gay or straight couple with children in Maryland ends their marriage, they will need to arm themselves with the knowledge to go through the divorce process. Every state differs in their child custody laws, but these five guidelines can help same-sex couples who are divorcing.
Partners in same-sex marriages in Maryland may choose to each keep their pre-wedding surname, or they may opt to combine them as one couple in Ohio did to create a new name. With more same-sex couples having children, many of them want their offspring to bear this new family moniker on a birth certificate that also lists both spouses as the baby's parents. The Ohio couple, however, live in a state which does not entitle gay and lesbian marrieds to both be included on birth certificates.
Same-sex marriage appears to be a popular topic in the news. Maryland residents who follow the subject might be interested in learning about a divorce case that took place in Indiana. The case has come under scrutiny because a judge rejected the divorce petition of a transgender woman on the basis that she could not dissolve a marriage that she considered already void under state law. The couple had married in 1999 and filed for divorce in 2012.
Though same-sex marriage is recognized by states like Maryland, in other states, same-sex married couples must file their state taxes as either single or head of household. Regardless of the state they reside in, same-sex couples who are legally married should file their federal taxes either jointly or as married filing separately. Individual states have chosen to handle the tax status issue differently.
Maryland residents may be interested to hear that a new law has been proposed which would extend federal benefits to same-sex partners of federal civilian employees. Currently, these benefits are only available to same-sex spouses that are legally married.
Maryland residents may be interested to hear about some hidden costs that may come with the IRS's new policy of recognizing same-sex marriages for tax purposes. This new recognition policy is in line with other federal government agencies, such as the military and the State Department.
Maryland residents might be interested to hear that research shows that same-sex couples tend to be happier than heterosexual couples. Experts say that there may be pointers that heterosexual couples can take from same-sex ones to make their marriages more harmonious.