Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Thursday, November 2, 2006

"Marriage" and Money After New JerseyDecision

"The New Jersey Supreme Court granted gay couples the same rights as married couples this week, leaving it to the State Legislature whether to call their partnerships marriages or civil unions. But for Cynthia and Lucy Vandenberg, the landmark ruling is also about another M-word: money.

The Vandenbergs, who have been partners for 12 years, have been forced to open their checkbooks repeatedly over the years to pay thousands of dollars in taxes on health benefits and for legal transactions that married couples rarely face. There was the $1,500 to change their surnames, for instance, the $1,400 or so in taxes they paid annually for additional health benefits, and the $1,000 they spent so one could adopt the biological child of the other. “For all of this, you need to hire an attorney, or you find out the hard way,” said Lucy Vandenberg, 37, the director of the state’s Council on Affordable Housing.

Now they wonder how the court’s decision will affect their next child, a son Lucy is carrying. Will Cynthia Vandenberg have to pay to adopt him?" By Tina Kelley, N.Y. Times Link to Article (last visited 11-2-06 NVS)

Marriage (impediments) | Permalink

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