On April 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex couples have a right to be married under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. This decision was a long-awaited one by the LGBT community, and has many legal implications. If you have any questions about the legal implications that the Supreme Court’s decision has on your personal situation, you should contact a licensed Georgia attorney to go over your concerns.
Social Security, Medicare, and Disability
Same-sex couples who get married can now have the same Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits that other couples are given by the federal government. The Social Security, Medicare, and disability programs consider marital status when making eligibility and payment determinations. Thus, due to the Obergefell decision, married same-sex couples are now recognized as having legal status and entitlement to the benefits of their spouses.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Married same-sex couples are also included under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If they are eligible and work for a large employer, they can now request to take leave for various reasons, such as a birth or adoption of a child, or to take care of an ill family member, under the FMLA.
Health Insurance, Dependent Care, Retirement
Additionally, many employers are changing their benefit packages to recognize that same-sex couples are able to get married and share benefits. These company supplied benefits may include health insurance, dependent care payments, and retirement plans. Large employers who do not change their benefit plans to recognize same-sex marriage couples may be violating local, state, and federal nondiscrimination laws, so they will need to take care to ensure they are following all of the laws by discussing these issues with their benefits administrators.
Conversely, individuals who are currently working for a large employer who is not providing benefits to same-sex couples should discuss their situation with an attorney.
Married same-sex couples have legal rights in the health care setting, as well. In recent years, the federal government has issued new regulations to protect LGBT individuals in this arena. Health providers, health insurers, and federal health programs are prohibited from discriminating against same-sex couples and their families. Thus, for example, a woman may not be barred from being with her wife in the hospital room, due to a staff’s bias against LGBT individuals, if the husband could be with his wife in a similar situation.
Call Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C.
All of these changes have financial and health implications, and you may want to consult an attorney to make sure your affairs are in order. If you are considering divorce, whether you are in a same-sex marriage or not, please seek the advice and assistance of an experienced Georgia divorce attorney. Contact the lawyers at Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C. today at (678) 736-7700. When you call, we will schedule an appointment to go over the details of your situation and determine how we can best be of help to you.