Although it’s been a couple of years since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, there are still some hiccups with the issue. Particularly, there are challenges with same sex divorce. Divorce happens, and settling a divorce under any circumstances can be difficult. However, divorce in same sex marriages pose some additional challenges. Here’s a look at some of the challenges faced by same sex couples during the divorce process.
1. Social Security
Prior to the country-wide legalization of same sex marriage, gay couples had no way to get social security benefits. After the legalization, the Social Security Administration announced that more same sex couples could be entitled to Social Security benefits or Supplement Security Income payments.
After your marriage ends, you need to take action to receive the benefits that you deserve. You have to let the Social Security Administration know about changes in your marital status as soon as possible. Additionally, you need to apply for your benefits immediately. Don’t hesitate to file for survivor benefits or social security spousal benefits, or you may miss out. If the administration denies you, don’t give up. Many times, it’s necessary to appeal a decision before you get your benefits. A denial doesn’t mean you won’t get benefits; it means you need to try again.
Since 2013, same sex couples have received the same tax treatment as heterosexual couples by the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of the Treasury. Employers and employees received a notice that explained how to handle employment taxes and overpayment adjustment issues in same sex couples.
Despite the equal tax treatment, there is an issue that same sex divorce often encounters regarding alimony taxation. At one time, same sex couples couldn’t deduct alimony payments on their taxes. As a result, there were high gift taxes. If you want to get the right tax benefits, you need the help of a lawyer who understands how same sex alimony taxes work. One with experience in the industry can tell you what tax deductions you can make with your alimony payment.
Another challenge for those going through same sex divorce relates to federal taxation. Before same sex marriage was legal, same sex couples couldn’t file joint federal taxes. Now, married same sex couples have the same rights as married heterosexual couples. But that doesn’t mean that things are easy. Although same sex couples now have more financial advantages when filing taxes, divorce can get complicated.
If you get a divorce, your tax status can change. Usually, a joint filing status means that you have better tax treatment. If your income bracket is high, you can pay more in taxes every year after a divorce. However, a lower bracket means that you may pay less. Your first time filing taxes after your divorce could be shocking. To prepare yourself, you should speak to an accountant or an attorney. They can help you learn how to file your taxes for the best result.
4. Marital settlements
Before the legalization of same sex marriage, property transfer between two homosexual people in a relationship was difficult to handle. They needed to consider tax liabilities and gift taxes. This makes marital settlements difficult for same sex couples to understand. Often, they don’t know what to expect in a marital settlement.
If you and your partner are going through a same sex divorce, you need to understand the process of marital settlements. There are some consequences that could impact you. Before you start the process, you should understand what the outcome should be. You are eligible for the same benefits as heterosexual couples, but you should know about the process to make sure that you get what you deserve. Only then can you ensure that you get what you deserve.
5. Family home transfers
When gay marriage was not recognized throughout the whole US, family home transfers for homosexual couples during a divorce was difficult. There was a confusing maze of taxes to navigate through. They often needed to pay capital gains taxes. Transferring family homes became quite complicated and costly. Meanwhile, heterosexual couples could transfer family homes without needing to pay taxes.
Of course, now same sex divorce allows for the tax-free transfer of a family home. But the challenge is understanding how to avoid taxes in the transfer. You should arm yourself with the knowledge to understand how to make a tax-free transfer.
6. Finding a same sex divorce lawyer
Many people make the mistake of hiring a divorce lawyer with no experience in same sex cases. However, this can mean that you don’t get what you deserve. If you want to make the most of your divorce, you need a divorce lawyer who understands same sex divorces.
Fortunately, there are lawyers who specialize in same sex divorces. With their help, you can get through your divorce ready to handle all of its challenges.