Whether or not you favor marriage as a social institution, there’s no denying that it confers many rights, protections, and benefits – both legal and practical. When a couple gets married in California, there are certain legal benefits that they will be entitled to simply because they are married. Some of the marital legal benefits include but are not limited to:
- Tax – filing joint income tax returns
- Estate planning – inheriting a share of your spouse’s estate
- Government – receiving Social Security, Medicare, disability, and military benefits for spouse
- Employment – obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse’s employer, taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness or bereavement leave if your spouse dies
- Medical – visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit, making medical decisions for him or her
- Death – consenting to after-death examinations and procedures, making burial arrangements
- Not having to testify against your spouse in a court of law
California is a communal property state. This means that income earned and property acquired during the marriage is considered marital property. Even if only one spouse earned an income, both parties share the income and property equally. This also means that spouses are generally held accountable for each other’s debts as well.
Sometimes newly married couples are unclear about the legal rights they have after being married and may require assistance with matters such as taxes, insurance and finances.
If you have any questions regarding your legal rights as a couple, contact the Orange County family law office of Amy M. Montes. We have the knowledge and experience to help you understand what you’re getting into when you say the words, “I do”.
It’s difficult to enjoy benefits from something you don’t fully understand, which is why it’s a good idea to visit our office before you miss out on opportunities.