Connecticut Marriage Entitlement for Gay and Lesbian Couples

Same-Sex Marriage in Connecticut

On June 26, 2015 the Supreme Court issued its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges in which it ruled that the Fourteenth amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state. This legalized same-sex marriage throughout the United States, it’s possessions and territories. Each state will determine the guidelines for retroavtivity if spouses do not agree on the date and timelines for financial contributions to be used to determine assets in the event of a breakdown of the relationship.

Issues to Consider Before Entering Into a same-sex Marriage

  • Entering into a marriage will revoke your existing Last Will and Testament;
  • If you are in the process of adopting or are considering adopting a child, marriage may provide a barrier.  Most foreign countries and some U.S. states prohibit same-sax couples from adopting but do allow single-parent adoptions;
  • You may be disqualified from certain state government programs because your spouse’s income and assets may be included with your own and some states are already providing retroactivity to benefits if the spouses were in another legally recognized same-sex relationship such as civil union but this has not been universally applied;
  • Connecticut law provides that married persons are responsible for their spouse’s debts including medical bills, rent and the purchase of items that support the family or benefit the couple;
  • Connecticut law provides that a spouse generally cannot disinherit a spouse by leaving that spouse out of her/his will unless the couple has signed a valid prenuptial agreement;
  • You can not enter into the marriage unless you have dissolved any prior civil union, domestic partnership or marriage. If you have entered into a marriage without dissolving the previously entered into civil union, domestic partnership or marriage because of jurisdictional issues you should consult an attorney;
  • If you choose to dissolve your marriage, a court will determine the division of your property, alimony, child support and visitation, and other related issues, if the couple cannot agree on their own. It is important to note that the Obergefell v. Hodges decision did not give guidance as to whether assets held and transactions that occurred before June 26, 2915 will be treated as marital or separate property;
  • Absent a clear prenuptial agreement addressing the question, a court may consider any property owned by either or both of the parties as property subject to distribution in a dissolution proceeding;
  • Foreign nationals should not marry without consulting an experienced immigration attorney.  Applying for a change in immigration status based on a marriage to a same-sex partner could lead to deportation or future denials of visa applications; and
  • Marriage is a legal status that will have to be disclosed on forms and records in both public and private contexts.

Benefits

married couples enjoy all of the rights, benefits, protections and responsibilities offered by the federal government, including spousal veterans benefits, spousal social security benefits, and federal tax benefits but the date of the retroactivity of these benefits is not clearly established.

 


You might also be interested in:

Adoption and Sperm Donation
Civil Union Pre/Postnuptial Agreements and Property Contracts
FAQ: Wills & Testamentary Trusts
Living Wills and Other Documents
Requirements for Dissolving (terminating) a Marriage or Civil Union


Disclaimer: The information presented here is only meant to offer a brief guide to the same-sex marriage law in Connecticut as it applies to gay and lesbian couples.  It is not and should not be construed as legal advice.   Questions about your individual circumstances should be discussed with a licensed attorney.  A Connecticut  lawyer at  Gryk & Frolich LLC is available to assist you in the co-parent or step-parent adoption process.