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Unexpected financial implications of the same-sex marriage ruling

The Supreme Court ruled for marriage equality June 26,2015. This was a clear victory for the LGBT community, but now couples in California and around the United States are discovering that this ruling has both positive and negative financial implications. The ruling guaranteed that married same-sex couples would have the same rights as married heterosexual couples.

These protected rights include eligibility for spousal Social Security benefits, spousal benefits from the Division of Veterans Affairs, leave from work under the Family and Medical Leave Act, as well as access to a diseased spouse's pension, estate, and 401K balance. Same-sex couples now also have the freedom to file their taxes as married filing jointly or married filing separately.

The majority of couples have benefited from these new rights and have experienced lower expenses overall, but some couples are suddenly finding themselves in a difficult financial situation. Filing their taxes differently has caused some to receive lower refunds, no refunds at all, or even owe large sums of money. In addition, these couples are finding out about the financial consequences of divorce, especially where property division is concerned. Many were overjoyed at the prospect of being able to marry, and they did not plan ahead with a prenuptial agreement.

Overall most same-sex couples are still very pleased with the positive aspects of the marriage equality ruling, even if the negative ones were an unpleasant surprise. Those who are considering divorce often benefit from a consultation with a divorce attorney. These attorneys may offer helpful advice and guide them through the marriage dissolution process.

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