Forward Thinking Family Law Since 1994

The Evolving Law of Same-Sex Marriage

In 2004, voters banned same-sex marriage in Michigan, which remained the law until 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal in all states.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling granted to same-sex couples the same rights and protections as heterosexual couples.

  • Divorce laws in each state apply equally to same-sex and heterosexual couples.
  • Adoption is permitted between same-sex couples.
  • Property rights include the ability to hold joint property and inherit property as a spouse.
  • Estate plans grant the same rights as heterosexual spouses.
  • Tax regulations allow joint income tax returns and exemption from estate taxes.
  • Employee benefits extend to medical insurance, retirement plans, and parental leave.

Couples who have partnership agreements signed before June 2015 or prenuptial agreements made in other states should consult an attorney to see how the change in the law affects them.

Because some couples married in other states or the District of Columbia have moved to Michigan with their children, the impact of the law requires a case-by-case analysis. We recommend that same-sex couples seek legal counsel to review the standing each party has to child custody and to have an agreement that keeps the welfare of their children at the forefront.

It will take time before the changes for same-sex couples are well established. Schedule a consultation to discuss your situation and how we might be able to assist.