June 19, 2008
Joint Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for Gay Couple?
This is a post to a consumer group list serve by a good friend of mine and a great lawyer in Long Beach, CA.
I am preparing a Chapter 7 for a client of no particular significance until this came up today. The client intends, this week, to get married because the California Supreme Court says he has a right to, a recent development. If he gets married in a union recognized by the State of California as valid, but decidely not recognized by any federal courts, to my knowledge, do I file it as a an "individual married" case? Better yet, do I include his new spouse's income when calculating the means test? That may actually be a problem, as the spouse makes pretty decent money. I haven't yet run the numbers to see if it will actually make a difference.
In reality, I'm going to ask my client to let me get his case on file this week before he gets married, to avoid all of this in this case. But I am certain that this exact issue is going to come up, and soon,
and would love to hear any input the group has.
For what its worth, section 101 does not define "spouse" and niether does 302. I'm guessing spouse means spouse under state law, and you go with that, "for better or worse", excuse the pun.
Jeffrey B. Smith
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See the Defense of Marriage Act: "In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife." 1 U.S.C. § 7.
Posted by: J.P. | Jun 19, 2008 10:10:42 AM
So this law would grant immunity for these sort of couples.
Posted by: anwalt fuer erbrecht | Jun 20, 2008 5:26:07 AM
J.P. got it in one. Without spouse being more defined in the Code, we have to fall back on DOMA.
DOMA was a horrendous bill, but the silver lining is that it avoids wasting resources on exactly this kind of lawsuit.
Posted by: Just Saying | Jun 20, 2008 7:32:35 AM