Same-Sex Marriages & Registered Domestic Partnerships
Love and commitment come in many packages. Attorney Judith C. Nesburn has worked with many same-sex couples to protect their rights under the law.
On June 26, 1915, the US Supreme Court ruled that same sex couples in every state have a right to marry - and that denial of this right violated the US Constitution. In California, the right of same sex couples to marry was originally recognized in 2008, overturned briefly by the passage of Proposition 8 and reestablished in subsequent court rulings. Still, same sex couples were denied very important federal rights and benefits available to couples of the opposite sex until June 26, 2013 when the US Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional for the federal government to deny federal benefits to lawfully married same sex couples.
These important rights include receipt of a spouse’s Social Security retirement benefits, the filing of joint tax federal tax returns, claiming a married couple tax deduction, and deducting spousal support paid to a former same sex spouse.
In California, you can register as a domestic partner if you are a same sex couple, both over the age of 18, who share a common residence or an opposite sex couple over 62 who meets certain criteria. Registering as Domestic Partners helps protect your rights in many areas including:
- Community property: assets are divided under the California Family Code if the relationship is dissolved
- Estate planning: you may protect the right to transfer property to a domestic partner through an estate plan
- Health Care Issues: you can make health care decisions for your partner in the same way as a married couple can
- Insurance Coverage and employment benefits: medical coverage, sick leave and disability from public or private employers may extend to Registered Domestic Partners.
If you want to create same sex partnership agreements, or if you are facing the end of your relationship and need help working out the terms of your dissolution, contact Judith at the Law and Mediation Offices of Judith C. Nesburn in Los Angeles, California.
|Attorney Judith C. Nesburn has been practicing in family
law since 1986, focusing on Mediation and Collaborative Divorce approaches. She has helped
parties in same-sex relationships enter into same sex or Domestic Partnership Agreements
prior to or during their partnership and reach agreement regarding their property, custody
and support issues at the time of a dissolution.