In April, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a landmark case questioning the validity of the same-sex marriage bans in Ohio and three other states.
A decision is expected sometime this month, and if the Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage, Ohio’s laws will have a lot of catching up to do.
The Columbus Dispatch reported that according to the UCLA School of Law, there were at least 21,010 same-sex couples in Ohio as of 2013. The state’s family laws regarding marriage, divorce, child custody and adoption would open to these individuals if the current gay marriage ban is stricken down.
A couple who was married in Washington D.C. fives year ago and interviewed by The Dispatch said that they are anxiously awaiting the day that their marriage is recognized in Ohio. The couple, who share custody of an 11-year-old child, said that the decision could affect everything from taxes, health care, Social Security and estate planning.
Additionally, if their relationship ends, it would allow them to dissolve their marriage in Ohio, just like opposite-sex couples do. Currently, same-sex couples who were married in other states often aren’t able to dissolve their marriages in Ohio, which can create a mess when it comes to dividing property and determining child custody.
The Dispatch reported that there are more than 100 laws in Ohio that deal with marriage that may soon have to extend to same-sex couples. Probate judges, especially, are preparing for the changes, as they handle marriage certificates and survivorship cases.
It is expected that around 10,000 couples are expected to tie the knot if same-sex marriage is legalized in Ohio. We will keep you posted on the developments and how Ohio’s family laws are affected.