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Before I Do: A Legal Guide to Marriage, Gay and Otherwise by Elizabeth F. Schwartz

Not long ago, same-sex couples had to jump through endless hoops to make their relationships even close to legal. Happily, those days are over. Same-sex couples no longer have to operate as outlaws—they too can have in-laws! But here’s the rub: many gay and lesbian couples, accustomed to living off-grid, are so thrilled to have the benefits of marriage that they gleefully jump into marriage without fully understanding the consequences.

In her first book, Before I Do, leading gay rights attorney Elizabeth F. Schwartz spells out the range of practical considerations couples should address before tying the knot. She explores the rights marriage provides and those it does not. With cameos from some of the most prominent LGBT professionals, Schwartz explains all of the implications of marriage from name changes and getting a license to taxes, insurance, Social Security, and much more.

Substantial chapters on estate planning, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and organizing finances make Before I Do relevant for all couples, young and older, and a crucial handbook for anyone considering marriage—because, as Schwartz explains, just because you can get married does not mean you should.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620971543
Publisher: New Press, The
Publication date: 10/04/2016
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth F. Schwartz has been practicing law since 1997 and is one of Florida’s best known advocates for the legal rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Her practice focuses on family formation (adoption, insemination, and surrogacy), divorce, estate planning, and probate. Schwartz lives in Miami.

Table of Contents

1 From Outlaws to In-laws 1

2 A Forty-Five-Year-Long, Painstaking Battle (Condensed to Eight Pages) 13

3 Starting Out 21 Cameo: The Unexpected Benefits of Marriage Carol Buell 26

4 What Marriage Means 35

Cameo: I Do, Mr. Taxman: How Marital Status Can Impact Your Taxes Karen Stogdill 40

Cameo: Governmental Benefits and Marriage Jane A. Bassett 59

Cameo: "More Secure and Freer" William Singer 69

Cameo: Military Benefits Bridget J. Wilson 72

Cameo: The Marital Presumption Deborah Wald 81

5 Do You "I Do'7 or Don't You? Ill

Cameo: Working Through the Pain of Discrimination Carol Buell 116

Cameo: Why the Law Shouldn't Value Marriage More Than Other Relationships … and Why I Chose It Anyway Nancy D. Polikoff 118

6 Alternatives to Marriage 123

7 Transgender and Marrying 127

8 Solving Problems 129

Cameo: Self-Understanding Michael Acton-Coles 131

Cameo: Why 1 Got Married Debra Guston 136

9 Estate Planning 139

10 Nuptial Agreements 151

11 Organizing Your Finances 163

Cameo: There's No Fair There David Boyer 166

Cameo: The Only Thing I Can Control Is the Laundry Helen Smolinski 168

12 Divorce 173

Cameo: Determining Status Deborah Wald 180

Cameo: Are We Not the Marrying Kind? Frederick Hertz 183

Cameo: Collaborative Law Mariette Geldenhuys 187

13 Assembling a Team 191

Cameo: The Shifting Landscape of Financial Planning for LGBT Clients After Marriage Equality Nan P. Bailey 194

14 Happily Ever After 197

Afterword: How Will Your Love Live On? Jim Obergefell 199

Acknowledgments 203

Appendix: Selected Resources 207

Index 211

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