Same Sex Marriage: 7 States Most Likely to Legalize Gay Marriage in 2013

As I mentioned in my previous article on gay marriage, states are moving toward legalizing gay marriage one step at a time. Maine recently reversed its previous ballot measure to legalize gay marriage in 2012, and several other states are moving in this direction. In fact, the pace of acceptance and legalization seems to be accelerating.

The LA Times has a very useful graphic with a slider, which shows how the country has evolved in its support for gay marriage. However, in 2013 there are seven states queued up to fully recognize gay marriage through legislation, ballot proposals, or court actions, including Illinois, Rhode Island, Delaware, New Jersey, California, Hawaii, and Minnesota.

Written by Chris Weiss. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com

Dividing It Up—Divorce Laws Vary According to Individual States

Sacramento, CA: Divorce in California is a community affair. No, it’s not that the entire community gets involved [although there are those who will tell you otherwise]. Rather, it’s that aspect of Family Law in California that dictates whether your divorce will be governed by community property or equitable distribution. Divorce lawyers will guide you through this, of course—but here’s the skinny that may save you your shirt…

Equitable distribution is observed by most states. What that means, is that any property acquired during the marriage is deemed as belonging to the spouse who earned the income necessary to acquire it. In the event both spouses contributed equally to the acquisition, the division is fairly straightforward. However, there can be variations. In most cases, one spouse will earn far more than the other—or income is split with one spouse paying for the mortgage and property taxes, whereas the other covers household expenses. Does the spouse who paid for the groceries, then, miss out on the matrimonial home? Would a full-time caregiver to children lose out on property because the other spouse earned the money to acquire it? There IS value placed on childcare and running the household. Divorce laws, together with the courts work all that stuff out on an individual basis.

Of course, in California you don’t have to worry about equitable distribution. That’s because California is one of the minority states that observes community property.

Written by Gordon Gibb. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com/

Gay Marriage: States That Allow Same-Sex Unions Have Lower Divorce Rates

Since the Defense of Marriage Act was found unconstitutional on Wednesday, talk of same-sex marriage — and divorce — has dominated the news. NBC 5 in Chicago took a look at recent census data and found that states that legally allow gay marriage actually have lower divorce rates than states that only allow heterosexual unions.

In states where same-sex marriages are legally recognized, the divorce rate is 20 percent lower than in states that only allow marriages between a man and a woman. For example, Massachusetts, which was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage (in 2004), also has the lowest divorce rate in the country.

Written by Huffington Post. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com/

Why Both Sides Want Gay Marriage Settled By The States

The Supreme Court may rule on gay marriage this week. Advocates both for and against are glad the issue didn’t reach the court any sooner.

They didn’t want a repeat of the abortion issue. With its landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, the high court stepped in and guaranteed a right to abortion but also triggered a backlash that has lasted for 40 years.

With same-sex marriage, by contrast, legislators and voters in nearly every state had the chance to make their feelings known before the Supreme Court weighs in.

“People forget that durable rights don’t come from courts, they come from consensus and strong support from society,” says Jonathan Rauch, author of Denial, a recent memoir about growing up gay. “We are winning the right to marriage in a bigger, deeper way by winning it in the court of public opinion.”

After losing political battles in a majority of states, gay marriage supporters have won a number of legislative victories and ballot measures in recent years. Sensing momentum is in their favor, it may not be surprising that they’re glad they’ve had time to make their case to the public.

Written by Alan Greenblatt. To read the full article, click here.

In Age of Dual Incomes, Alimony Payers Prod States to Update Laws

MIAMI — In the waning days of this year’s legislative session, Florida lawmakers and advocacy groups are pushing to overhaul the state’s alimony law in a bid to better reflect today’s marriages and make the system less burdensome for the alimony payer.

Florida joins a grass-roots movement in a growing number of states that seeks to rewrite alimony laws by curbing lifelong alimony and alleviating the financial distress that some payers — still mostly men — say they face. The activists say the laws in several states, including Florida, unfairly favor women and do not take into account the fact that a majority of women work and nearly a third have college degrees.

The Florida House recently approved legislation that would make lifelong alimony more difficult to award and less onerous for the payer and, in the case of a remarriage, would place a new spouse’s income off-limits in awarding payments. Attention turns to the Senate, where the companion bill is less far-reaching. Florida had already changed some provisions in alimony law two years ago.

Written by LIZETTE ALVAREZ. To read the full article, click here.

Dividing It Up—Divorce Laws Vary According to Individual States

Sacramento, CA: Divorce in California is a community affair. No, it’s not that the entire community gets involved [although there are those who will tell you otherwise]. Rather, it’s that aspect of Family Law in California that dictates whether your divorce will be governed by community property or equitable distribution. Divorce lawyers will guide you through this, of course—but here’s the skinny that may save you your shirt…

Equitable distribution is observed by most states. What that means, is that any property acquired during the marriage is deemed as belonging to the spouse who earned the income necessary to acquire it. In the event both spouses contributed equally to the acquisition, the division is fairly straightforward. However, there can be variations. In most cases, one spouse will earn far more than the other—or income is split with one spouse paying for the mortgage and property taxes, whereas the other covers household expenses. Does the spouse who paid for the groceries, then, miss out on the matrimonial home? Would a full-time caregiver to children lose out on property because the other spouse earned the money to acquire it? There IS value placed on childcare and running the household. Divorce laws, together with the courts work all that stuff out on an individual basis.

Of course, in California you don’t have to worry about equitable distribution. That’s because California is one of the minority states that observes community property.

Written by Gordon Gibb. To read the full article, click here. For more information on family law attorneys, visit our website http://www.jwbrookslaw.com/