Taxes And Same Sex Couples

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

It’s tax time and refunds are not yet in the mail.  We are still doing our taxes or asking for extensions.  For same sex couples, the issues are a bit different because they are not viewed under the law as a traditional family. 

Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships give some couples the tax benefits of families, but they are tricky.  Health insurance issues, what is deductible and what is not, head of household deductions, dependent deductions, at state and federal levels all add to the murky waters of tax law. 

Also, when same sex relationships end, property division can have serious tax ramifications.  It is important to realize that same sex couples are not afforded the same discounts and advantages as married couples.  But they are benefitted by having a skilled lawyer and accountant in drafting cohabitation agreements at the beginning of a relationship and in drafting division of property and benefits at the end of a relationship.  For more information, call one of the lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com.

Advertisements

Are we heterosexual?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Like the debate on whether or not we humans are meant to be monagamous, there is ongoing expert commentary on whether or not we humans are meant to be heterosexual.  But what happens when we are not?  What does the law in the state of Florida say about that? 

To some extent, Florida recognizes committed same sex domestic partnerships.  But this comes under contract law not family law.  What that means is that same sex committed couples can outline their relationship in terms of rights and obligations of each party in a co habitation agreement.  This agreement, if done properly, will be upheld or enforced in a court of law in this state if necessary.

Men and women of same sex orientation often find themselves in long term traditional heterosexual marriages.  Often if they get “caught” by the spouse, a divorce action and/or custody battle ensues.  Sexual orientation is used against that spouse in parenting allegations.  The law does not support that UNLESS the best interests of the child is at stake or there is some detriment to the child.   Those of same sex pursuasions can be perfectly good parents, and courts here recognize that. 

However, if you are in a traditional marriage and find your spouse to be something other than you thought, you have two choices:  either look the other way and make the marriage work, or file for divorce.  Keep in mind that you should be sensitive to your children’s needs. 

Where two homosexual partners decide to call the relationship over, again the case will proceed under contract law.  If there is a home that was purchased together, or some other financial arrangements or living arrangements were agreed to, with the break up of the relationship, the issues will be decided under Florida contract law.   If children are involved in a same sex relationship, the natural parent will prevail if it is in the best interests of the child. 

For more information about this or other topics of interest, please call one of the lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’sweb site at www.familylawwpb.com.