Jim Reed Discusses the Implications of New Same-Sex Marriage Law in Indiana with Pete the Planner
Bingham Greenebaum Doll Partner and Team Leader of Wealth Management and Family Law James Reed recently discussed the legal ramifications in Indiana following a landmark ruling on the state’s ban on same-sex marriage with the listeners of “The Pete the Planner Show” recently.
Reed is a recurring guest on the weekly program hosted by Peter Dunn that airs on 93.1 FM WIBC from 4-6 p.m. During his interview, he shared advice for prospective same-sex spouses and expanded on the practical effects of the decision in regards to estate planning and divorce.
The US Supreme Court allowed the 7th Circuit of the US Court of Appeals’ decision that found Indiana’s ban of same-sex marriages unconstitutional.
Following this, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear cases relating to several same-sex marriage rulings, allowing them to stand as law and allowing same-sex marriages to proceed in several states including Indiana (Read more about this decision and its effects from BGD attorney Michael Kohlhaas).
Previously, Indiana had a short period of time that marriages were legal because of a lower court ruling. However, this decision was stayed, resulting in a current situation which includes same-sex couples in domestic partnerships, long term relationships and marriages.
Dunn asked Reed “Has there been the first gay divorce in Indiana?”
Reed responded that there probably has, but it is difficult to track because it has been uncertain if the marriage was legitimate at the outset. He also pointed out that, with the recent legalization of these marriages, the typical procedure of divorce now applies to same-sex spouses.
According to Reed, because of varying types of relationships, estate planning and legal needs of these couples has been complex, but the recent action is a step toward the reduction of special legal needs for same-sex couples.
He went on to say allowing all couples government marriage benefits , and that the complexity of divorces has been the “big driver” behind the recent changes but there remains some uncertainty.
“Until there is an absolute final resolution,” he said, “pre-marital agreements are the best option for same sex couples when trying to avoid legal and estate problems in the future.”
Thirty U.S. States currently recognize same-sex marriages, but relocation to any state that does not recognize these marriages can cause legal issues. “Any time you decide to get married it should be a very thoughtful decision,” he said. “This just adds another small layer to that decision.”