First, let's dispel a myth: common law marriage is not established by living together for seven years. Each state that recognizes common law marriage has a definition of common law marriage that has to be met. In Pennsylvania, there are two tests: one test for if both parties are living, and a second test in the case where one of the potential spouses has died. There is one test for divorce or marriage cases where both parties are alive and therefore available to testify. There is a second test in estate cases where the only part available to confirm or deny the allegation of a common law marriage is not available because of death. In the Carter case, the court applied the estate test where there is a rebuttable presumption of a common law marriage if evidence shows cohabitation and reputation of marriage. Had this been a divorce case where both parties were available to testify, Mr. Carter and Mr. Hunter would have had to prove a present tense exchange of vows of marriage. … [Read more...] about Determining a Wedding Date: Retroactive Recognition of Same-Sex Common Law Marriages post-Obergefell
Federal law on marriage
Cafeteria Plans/HSAs/HRAs– An employee is typically entitled to make mid-year election changes under a cafeteria plan due to changes in family status (e.g., marriage, divorce, spouse’s change in employment impacting his or her plan eligibility). A same-sex spouse will now be considered a spouse for these purposes. Also, the eligible medical expenses incurred by a same-sex spouse will be reimbursable under a health flexible spending account plan. Same-sex spouses will also be treated as spouses for the dependent care spending account limits on earned income. Similarly, same-sex spouses will be spouses for health savings account and health reimbursement arrangement purposes. … [Read more...] about The U.S. Supreme Court Rules Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional: Significant Implications for Employee Benefit Plans
Attorney General Eric Holder explained the president’s decision in a statement released today, according to the Washington Post and Metro Weekly’s Poliglot blog. The New York Times calls the announcement “a striking legal and political shift.” … [Read more...] about Obama Concludes Federal Law Banning Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage Is Unconstitutional
The appellate court also noted that the lower court was wrong to focus on evidence that Hunter and Carter had spoke about a future “wedding” or “big party.” That “plainly referred to a ceremonial marriage, which they conceded had not yet undertaken and which is fully consistent with an existing common law marriage,” Moulton wrote. … [Read more...] about Court in another state recognizes pre-Obergefell common-law marriage between gay partners
North Carolina does not recognize same sex marriage as valid, so for purposes of North Carolina taxes, where does that leave our North Carolina-residing same sex couple clients that were legally married in another state? NCDOR directive PD-13-1 provides that “Because North Carolina does not recognize same-sex marriage as valid… individuals who enter into a same-sex marriage in another state cannot file a North Carolina income tax return using the filing status of married. Such individuals who file a federal income tax return as married must each complete a separate pro forma federal return for North Carolina purposes with the filing status of single to determine each individual’s proper adjusted gross income, deductions and tax credits allowed under the Code for the filing status used for North Carolina purposes.” … [Read more...] about Same Sex Marriages: Are You Filing Your Taxes Properly?