Same sex marriage licenses are issued in several states: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, plus Washington, D.C., Illinois (starting in July 2011) and the Coquille Indian Tribe in Oregon.
The Defense of Marriage Act (Pub.L. 104-199, 110 Stat. 2419, enacted September 21, 1996, 1 U.S.C. § 7 and 28 U.S.C. § 1738C) is a United States federal law signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996 whereby the federal government defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. Under the law, also known as DOMA, no state (or other political subdivision within the United States) may be required to recognize as a marriage a same-sex relationship considered a marriage in another state.
Based on DOMA, The IRS does not follow state law for recognizing same-sex marriages. Therefore, same-sex couples can not file jointly as married. Due to this added complexity, domestic partners should consult with an experienced tax professional for advice on filing their federal and state tax returns.
So the question is asked can same-sex couples file for bankruptcy?
On July 13, 2011 The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, in Los Angeles, released an opinion finding Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional in a bankruptcy filing brought by a same-sex married couple, Gene Douglas Balas and Carlos A. Morales. the Debtors were legally married to each other in California on August 20, 2008, and remain married today, the United States Trustee (sometimes referred to simply as “trustee”) moved to dismiss this case pursuant to Bankruptcy Code § 1307(c) (Motion to Dismiss), asserting that the Debtors are ineligible to file a joint petition based on Bankruptcy Code § 302(a) because the Debtors are two males.
With this most recent opinion, joint bankruptcy petitions may be allowed by same-sex partners sometime in the future. But as of now, they are not able to file for bankruptcy jointly.
North Carolina does not recognize same sex marriages and a couple who is married in another state and moves here will not be able to file bankruptcy in this state. That does not mean you can not file individually, if you qualify.
If you are looking for a Bankruptcy Attorney in Charlotte contact Maxwell Law Firm, PLLC at 704-461-1883. For a California Bankruptcy Attorney contact the Law offices of Chirnese L. Liverpool at 818-714-2200.
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