Know Your Rights: Marriage Equality and Retirement Benefits

After the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of United States v. Windsor, the federal government was required to recognize all legal marriages, including those of same-sex couples. Since that ruling, most employer-sponsored retirement benefit plans have recognized same-sex spouses as legal spouses who are eligible for a share of all retirement benefits or to act as a beneficiary. Therefore, all retirement plans through private employers should already be recognizing same-sex spouses and … [Read more...]

Know Your Rights: Marriage Equality and Veteran’s Spousal Benefits

  Much like the Social Security benefits we discussed in our last post, a patchwork of federal and state laws affected a married couple’s eligibility for veteran’s spousal benefits. After the Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor struck down a law which had barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, veteran’s spousal benefits became available to many same-sex spouses. However, many couples still were and are deemed ineligible for benefits based on the … [Read more...]

Know Your Rights: Marriage Equality and Spousal Social Security Benefits

As we discussed in our last post, prior to the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, married same-sex couples were required to navigate a patchwork of federal and state laws in order to determine what benefits they were entitled to receive. The Court’s 2013 ruling in United States v. Windsor struck down a law that barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, and spousal benefits became available for many married couples. However, the Social … [Read more...]

Marriage Equality and Spousal Benefits for Same-Sex Couples

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex couples are guaranteed the constitutional right to marry, their marriages must be recognized in every state in the country. This recognition means that same-sex marriages are considered equal and that as legally married couples, they are to be granted the same rights and privileges that all married couples enjoy. For many, those rights now include spousal benefits.  Spousal Benefits Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of … [Read more...]

Marriage Equality and Families: What the Supreme Court’s Decision Means for Parents and Children

With the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, it is easy to assume that legal marriage guarantees that the parental rights of same-sex couples are automatically protected. However, the rights of parents, especially those of non-biological parents, vary widely from state to state. In many cases simply being married may not be enough to ensure the parental rights of a non-biological parent. Marriage equality is an important first step in recognizing the validity of all … [Read more...]

Marriage Equality Ruling: What the Supreme Court’s Decision Means for Same Sex Couples in Texas

Marriage equality is now the law of the land in every state of the United States of America. On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court announced its decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges. The Court’s decision guarantees same-sex couples the freedom to marry and the right to have those marriages recognized by every state. What are Your Rights? According to the Supreme Court, the Fourteenth Amendment requires all states, including the State of Texas to issue marriage licenses to same-sex … [Read more...]