Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that the portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that denies federal recognition to same-sex couples is unconstitutional.
Due to the ruling, there are a few things that same-sex couples need to consider as they plan their finances in a post-DOMA world.
First: What the Ruling Doesn’t Do
It’s important to note that the ruling doesn’t force all states to recognize same-sex marriages. In fact, some rather thorny issues are being raised by the ruling, which essentially says the federal government has to recognize as marriage what a state sees as marriage. So far, only 13 states plus the District of Columbia recognize same-sex unions. Here’s a list of the states that currently allow same-sex marriage.
If you live in a state where same-sex marriage is recognized, and you are legally married there, there is no problem.
Things get a little dicey if you are married in a state that recognizes same-sex unions and you live in a state that doesn’t recognize such marriages. If you are married in New York, where same-sex marriage is legal, but move to Utah, where your marriage isn’t recognized, what happens?
That’s something that hasn’t been worked out yet.