Following the Supreme Court's landmark decision that made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states, Texas included, many couples chose to hurriedly tie the knot. This response is understandable as so many same-sex couples had waited so long for the big day to arrive.
But as joyous an occasion that day in June may have been, it remains that entering a marriage is a very serious step. There are many important financial issues that should be discussed prior to, or at least soon after, saying "I do."
So, what can same-sex couples do to better prepare themselves for their financial futures? Well, according to the Transamerica Center for Health Studies' executive director, same-sex couples should keep in mind the changes in health benefits offered to married couples. If each spouse can receive benefits from his or her place of employment, then the couple should compare the benefits to decide from which employer they want to obtain coverage.
The manner in which a couple chooses to file taxes is also significant. For example, married couples can benefit greatly in regard to gift and estate taxes. Marital deductions can be used when spouses give gifts to one another. By using these deductions, the gifts will not be counted as part of a gross estate.
Additionally, as a means of getting on the same page regarding financial planning, a same-sex couple may wish to create a prenuptial agreement. By having the details of how property and assets should be shared and divided, a couple can save themselves a lot of money and grief. A prenup can set expectations going into a marriage and help allay conflicts or misunderstandings. If the marriage does not work out, the prenup can help simplify the divorce process.
A family law attorney who has experience handling the needs of same-sex couples in Texas may be able to offer you the advice and guidance you need in dealing with your newly established marital rights.