For years, couples, states and federal courts have been fighting over the legality of same-sex marriage. A hot topic, with a distinct division, opinions on same-sex marriage have been the platform of more than one government official, both for and against. Despite these arguments, over the past few years, more and more states have legalized same-sex marriage within the confines of their state, affording protection and benefits to these families. Unfortunately for many, no federal ruling meant that despite state protection, these couples still dealt with many significant issues relating to insurance, custody and even divorce.
On June 26th, 2015 in a landmark 5 to 4 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to all couples by the Fourteenth Amendment. While the ruling is final, the rules are still in the process of going into effect. After all, nothing happens immediately. States who had not yet allowed same-sex marriages, now had to update the language of all their laws. Many who disagree with the ruling have yet to abide by these new rules, as seen with the latest news relating to Kim Davis, a Rowan Kentucky County Clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite the Supreme Court ruling.
What Else Does This Ruling Mean?
For those same-sex couples unable to marry until now, this ruling means much more than just a marriage license. The right to Social Security benefits, including survivor benefits, health benefits, the opportunity to file both federal and state taxes jointly, inheritance rights, the right to make medical decisions and even the right to divorce all relate directly to the Supreme Court’s ruling. For this reason, if you have questions about what is and is not legal relating to your spouse, it is important that you talk to an attorney who understands these laws and what they mean to you and your family.
These laws are new and residents of Michigan and other states who had previously banned same-sex marriage, will continue to see changes over the next few months and even years.
Collis and Griffor are attorneys primarily serving the cities of Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, and the counties of Wayne and Washtenaw, although we extend our legal services throughout the State of Michigan. If you are dealing with a case relating to family law including marriage, divorce, custody, parenting time, child support or spousal support and live in the Ypsilanti area, we can help. For more information about this or other family law issues, contact Collis and Griffor at 734.827.1337.
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