4The ramifications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage extend far beyond the now legal marriage ceremony. Gay couples now have the same rights as heterosexual couples in a traditional marriage. Gay couples can now receive tax benefits, insurance benefits, and sexless marriages that the rest of us have long taken for granted.

Gay couples that are considering marriage would be well served by investigating the ramifications that accompany marriage. Besides the many pros, there are potential cons as well. If the couple separates it is no longer possible to simply divide property based on who purchased it. Instead, the couple will be subject to the same divorce laws and division of property that straight marriages have dealt with for hundreds of years.

 

Prenuptial Agreements

5With the Supreme Court Ruling, it may be a good idea for the parties in a same-sex marriage to consider a prenuptial agreement, especially if one or both of the parties accumulated assets before the marriage and wish to protect that property. This is especially true if there was a lengthy partnership before the marriage an assets were acquired. Prior to a marriage those assets will be considered separate property, no matter how long the couple have been together.

If nothing else, a prenuptial agreement may be useful solely for the purpose of designating what property belongs to what party, or if certain assets should be designated and treated as marital property. For example, if a gay couple bought a house together and they both contributed to the costs, designating the property as marital property before the marriage even takes place could greatly help the parties if a divorce becomes necessary. In this scenario a prenuptial agreement would serve a greater purpose then just protecting one party’s assets.

 

Custody & Adoption

Gay couples also now have the privilege of dealing with custody issues. If one or both parties have children from a previous marriage or relationship, the step-parent may have the opportunity to adopt that child or children. If the couple have children during the marriage, then they will be subject to the same custody and visitation laws as a straight couple.

If you are planning on getting married or you’re dealing with divorce/custody issues, contact Pearson Law Firm for a free consultation with an experienced divorce attorney. Call 801-888-0991.