Getting married is both an emotional decision and an economic one, something that same-sex couples in the states that have allowed them to legally wed have been finding out since 2004.
Estate planning, taxes, Social Security benefits, health insurance and other financial issues have historically been enormously complicated for same-sex couples. For the last 10 years, things did not get that much clearer, especially for couples caught between federal and state rules.
Now with nationwide acceptance of marriage equality, thanks to the Supreme Court decision on Friday, will the financial picture finally be clear? Reuters spoke with three experts in LGBT financial planning to find out the implications of the Supreme Court decision.
Q: Is financial planning now exactly the same for same-sex couples as heterosexual couples?
A: Not quite. "I wish I could say marriage makes it easy, but it doesn't," says Jennifer Hatch, president and managing partner of Christopher Street Financial, based in New York.
There are still lingering issues, particularly when there are children involved, such as second-parent adoption still not being legal in all states, though new challenges to those laws are likely.
Some couples may also have to untangle decades of convoluted planning that they had to employ.
And some may want to pick and chose which aspects of their financial lives they want to combine. "That's where we get involved in designing pre-nups and post-nups," Hatch says.
Q: Taxes are a big drawback to marriage. Should same-sex couples consider staying single in certain circumstances?
A: Some couples are asking financial questions first, rather than just jumping into marriage, especially if they have been together for years as an unmarried couple.