A ruling from the US Supreme Court to legalize (or not) gay marriage could come down any minute!
(CAMDEN CO, NJ) –New Jersey is one of the latest states to legalize same sex marriage, doing so in late 2013. Now, the United States Supreme Court is deliberating on no less than four same sex marriage cases and a ruling is expected any day now! If you are one of those New Jersey newlyweds you almost certainly have one big question on your mind: will this affect my marriage?
It’s hard to give a “yes or no” answer, but there’s good reason to believe that it won’t.
Why? The New Jersey Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage because it takes “equal protection under the law” seriously!
When approving same sex marriage, the New Jersey Supreme Court based its decision not just on the USConstitution, but also on the Constitution of the State of New Jersey. The New Jersey Constitution often goes above and beyond its Federal Counterpart to protect peoples’ rights to equality (potentially including the right for same sex couples to marry.)
However, while the right for same sex couples to marry might be upheld in New Jersey because of “equal protection” that doesn’t mean that the law is suddenly treating all couples equally.
For example, same-sex couples can’t reproduce without some sort of outside help. Therefore, the question of how to handle the parenting rights of a non-biological parent is more common in same-sex marriage than in opposite sex marriages.
There is also the sad, but inevitable consequence of legalizing same sex marriage: same sex divorce. Questions of alimony in such cases become messier because couples that have been together 10, 20 even 30+ years and would’ve gotten married a long time ago if they had a choice will be treated as if they’ve only been together since 2013, hardly a reflection of reality. The question of who brought what to a marriage is a big part of alimony payments. What would qualify as “fair and equitable distribution” when only one year of a long relationship counts in court?
Law Offices of Lynda Hinkle proudly serves South Jersey’s LGBT community in all matters of family law, estate planning, and LGBT Elder Law.
- Premarital agreements/”prenups”
- Transition from Civil Union to Marriage
- Same-Sex Couple Adoption
- Wills/Livings Wills
- Powers of Attorney
- Trusts/Special Needs Trust
- Divorce/Military Divorce
- Settlement Agreements
- Domestic Violence Complaints
- Elder Law (Guardianships, Elder Fraud/Abuse)
- Transgender Law (Name-change, Birth Certificates)
- Gay Friendly Lawyer In South Jersey
We believe in fairness and equality under the law and we look forward to helping to navigate life’s legal and civil contracts. Contact 856-227-7888 or [email protected] for a free consultation.