SFGN Takes A Closer Look At The Financial Implications Of Tying The Knot

First comes the proposal, then comes a mad rush of planning the big day, whether it’s at the courthouse or a lavish wedding with matching cummerbunds. With the ban on gay marriage lifted in Florida, same-sex couples across the state are finally able to make their relationships official under the eyes of the law.

Which also means there’s lot of important, technical conversations and decisions that need to be made.

“There’s an overwhelming amount of information out there and so it’s just being able to get your arms around all of it and really, really understand and make sure you’re not missing anything,” said Scott Farber, senior vice president and wealth strategist at U.S. Trust. “There’s a lot going on, there are a lot of moving pieces.”

While same-sex couples by the law will be viewed the same as a heterosexual couple, for comfort’s sake, finding an attorney or accountant who has worked with LGBT couples may be best.

“Ask how familiar that individual is with the federal marriage laws,” Lori Barkus, an attorney in Weston, recommended. “A good question would be, how many situations similar to mine have you handled? Are you familiar with the laws relating to tax filings for same-sex couples who are married? Couples who were previously filing single but are now married?”

Perhaps the most sobering piece of advice?

“Don’t rush into do anything, because there are pretty dramatic ramifications to getting married,” Farber said.

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Gay Marriage Expected to Boost Local Economy

Courtesy Eau Palm Beach

Courtesy Eau Palm Beach

Study shows marriage equality will create up to 2,600 full and part-time jobs in Florida

Just six days into 2015, the year has already proven to be a landmark one for the LGBT community.

Late into the night, the ban on same-sex marriage was lifted and couples across the state celebrated by tying the knot with the loves of their lives. However, some are planning on forgoing the courthouse and going through the motions of planning a wedding — all good news for Florida’s economy.

“Anybody who does weddings, venues, caterers, hotels, restaurants — everybody is going to gain,” Peggy M. Lewis said. “A lot of people would love Fort Lauderdale and Miami as a destination site.”

Lewis owns Florida Ceremonies, where for 13 years she has served as a life cycle celebrant and writes ceremonies for different life occasions. Before gay marriage was legalized in other states, about a third of her clients were same-sex commitment ceremonies. Then, when states started to legalize gay marriage, people flocked to Massachusetts, New York, and other states where they could legally get married.

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Six Couples Sue Florida for Right to Marry

Photo by Brett Hufziger

Photo by Brett Hufziger

Last month six couples sued the State of Florida for the right to marriage.

“Today the majority of Floridians stand with us as we take this historic step toward marriage equality in the Sunshine State,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida Institute. “These couples have been embraced by their families and communities, but every day, Florida laws are denying them the protections and dignity that every family deserves. These harmful laws are outdated and out of step.”

Read the rest of this collaborative story at South Florida Gay News.