Since 2015, same-sex couples around the country, including Florida, are now able to marry and enjoy all the rights granted to their opposite-sex counterparts. However, if you and your partner are considering getting married, you may still have some confusion about what those rights entail and what benefits the two of you stand to gain if you get married.
While it may not be a good option for every couple, FindLaw explains that marriage offers same-sex couples benefits previously denied them in terms of government benefits, joint ownership of property and estate planning.
Benefits from the government
A lot of benefits that the government provides, including health care benefits, nursing home care, Social Security benefits and unpaid leave to care for a family member, are exclusively available to married couples. The Supreme Court ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015 guarantees all same-sex married couples the right to take advantage of these benefits.
Joint ownership of property
Married couples enjoy an equal share of all property and assets acquired during the marriage. Be aware, however, that this also applies to debt liability, which may make marriage an unattractive option for some couples.
Transfer of property upon death
Prior to the Obergefell decision, same-sex couples who wanted the transfer of parental and property rights to the surviving partner following a death had to expend a great deal of money and time to ensure those rights for their partners. Marriage equality presupposes that the right of a husband or wife to inherit from an opposite-sex spouse now applies to same-sex spouses as well.
Couples should not take the decision to marry lightly, nor should they marry solely to receive certain benefits. However, if you do decide to get married, you can take advantage of all the rights that the government offers to you.
The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.