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Recent Expansion of Federal Same-Sex Marriage Rights and Benefits

Recent Expansion of Federal Same-Sex Marriage Rights and Benefits

This week the United States government expanded the recognition of same-sex marriage rights to include situations such as bankruptcies, survivor benefits, and prison visits. This reflects yet another way that gay and lesbian legal rights are continuing to spread throughout the federal and state governments. This expansion of rights includes the remaining 34 U.S. states that still have not legalized gay marriage. In these states, the aforementioned federal benefits will only be extended to areas where the federal government has jurisdiction. For instance, a homosexual couple who was legally married in New Jersey can now become involved in a federal bankruptcy case in any of the 34 states who have not yet recognized marriage equality. Before this week, the federal government could challenge a same-sex couples’ joint bankruptcy in states that do not recognize same-sex marriage. This new expansion of federal benefits also impacts LGBT married partners’ ability to gain visitation rights for spouses incarcerated in federal prisons. It also extends survivor benefits for spouses of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty as well as the legal benefit and right to not be compelled to testify against a spouse in federal courts. The legal landscape for gay and lesbian individuals throughout the nation is changing at breakneck speeds. As social benefits and privileges continue to expand for homosexual people, everyone needs to remain up-to-date on how the expansion of marriage equality and social benefits legally impacts their lives. As the number of same-sex marriages increases in New Jersey, unfortunately and inevitably, so will the number of same-sex divorces and all of the issues associated with a legal divorce such as child custody, parenting time, equitable distribution, child support, and alimony – just to name a few. If you are a gay or lesbian couple who is dealing with any of these legal issues it is extremely important that you seek out the advice of an experienced attorney before proceeding. For more information about same-sex marriage, same-sex divorce, custody, child support, alimony, parenting time, equitable distribution or other family law matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney

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