Equally Wed
Ohio Gay Marriage Ruling is Stayed
Published: Friday, 18 April 2014 14:29
Ohio Gay Marriage Ruling is Stayed

The Ohio gay marriage ruling has been stayed. Appeals will likely take months.

How to Get Legally Married in Vermont
Published: Thursday, 17 April 2014 22:19
How to Get Legally Married in Vermont

All you need to know about getting legally married in Vermont!

How to Get Legally Married in Rhode Island
Published: Thursday, 17 April 2014 21:44
How to Get Legally Married in Rhode Island

Same-sex couples can be legally married in Rhode Island. 

Patricia + Julissa: An Autumn Wedding Under the Texas Sun
Published: Thursday, 17 April 2014 20:49
Patricia + Julissa: An Autumn Wedding Under the Texas Sun

Patricia and Julissa were married under the hot desert sun of the Texas landscape!

Oklahoma Marriage Equality Case Appealing to 10th Circuit
Published: Thursday, 17 April 2014 18:15
Oklahoma Marriage Equality Case Appealing to 10th Circuit

The 10th Circuit is hearing arguments in the Oklahoma marriage equality case.

Under the Tux: Wedding Day Undergarments for Men
Published: Thursday, 17 April 2014 17:09
Under the Tux: Wedding Day Undergarments for Men

Guys, it's not all about the tux. Wow your man with some fun unmentionables!

Barbie + Alexa: An Intimate Garden Wedding in DC
Published: Wednesday, 16 April 2014 18:48
Barbie + Alexa: An Intimate Garden Wedding in DC

Barbie and Alexa decided to make their love legal on their 8-year anniversary!

Wednesday Wedding Song: All of Me by John Legend
Published: Wednesday, 16 April 2014 08:00
Wednesday Wedding Song: All of Me by John Legend

John Legend's song All of Me touches me to my core every time I hear it, and that's why I'm choosing it as this week's Wednesday Wedding Song.

Ohio Marriage Ruling May Be Stayed
Published: Wednesday, 16 April 2014 02:23
Ohio Marriage Ruling May Be Stayed

A federal judge is considering staying his recent ruling that same-sex marriage be recognized in the state.

Patrick + Arive: Celebrating 10 Years Together
Published: Tuesday, 15 April 2014 19:31
Patrick + Arive: Celebrating 10 Years Together

Patrick and Arive recently celebrated 10 years of love together.

 

lesbian-wedding-legal

You've made the emotional commitment, but are you ready for the technical challenges of getting married? There are several hurdles you'll have to jump over before you're a completely wedded same-sex couple. The challenges are even greater if one spouse is changing his or her last name. Here's what you need to know before you tie the knot so you can get organized and make a smooth transition into wedded bliss.

Getting the Marriage License

If you're in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, getting the marriage license is usually pretty simple. Marriage requirements vary between states, but the basic process is the same everywhere. You go down to the local courthouse, get the marriage license paperwork, fill it out, present your ID (both of you will need at least a driver's license, and some states also require birth certificates and Social Security cards), and pay the marriage license fee to have it filed. Some states have a waiting period before you can use the license, while you can use it right away in others. The important thing is to have all of your identifying documents with you at the court house.

Changing Your Name on Your Driver's License

You can do this right at the DMV. Simply bring your old license and a certified copy of your marriage license. They'll change your last name to your spouse's with no questions asked and issue you a license with a new picture on it right then and there.

Changing Your Name on Your Social Security Card

This one is the nerve-wracking one for most couples. You actually have to send in an original certified copy of your marriage license, your birth certificate and your driver's license to the Social Security Administration. This must be done by mail, so you're letting some pretty sensitive documents out of your immediate control. Some couples are so uncomfortable doing this that the name-changing spouse never does it at all. However, it's important that your name is officially changed with Social Security for tax, Medicare and disability or retirement income purposes.

The Social Security Administration does send your original certified marriage license back to you, along with your new card. However, it can take a few weeks to get to you. Anything can happen to your license or your old card in that time. You don't know who is going to be looking at it. Most ID theft facts and articles, including those found on Lifelock.com, mention this as a good opportunity for ID thieves. Before you send your sensitive information into the world on its own to change your name on your Social Security card, you should get an identity theft protection service like Lifelock to protect you, just in case your documents fall into unscrupulous hands.

Filing Your Taxes Together for the First Time

This will be the trickiest time you file taxes together. Every other time should be easier. The thing that makes it complicated is that you earned income as single people for part of the year and as married people for part of the year. Oh, and that whole marriage equality thing. It really depends on where you live if you can file jointly on your state taxes. Last year when section 3 of DOMA was overturned, the United States government declared that it would allow legally married gay and lesbian couples to file their federal taxes jointly, even if you live in a state that does not recognize your marriage. There is usually a name change involved for one of you, too. This can make filling out even the 1040EZ form challenging. It is best if you get some professional help on this one, such as going to an accountant, even if you usually do your own taxes. Using a professional this one time will make the process so much easier and you'll be sure you're covering all of your tax bases. It's worth it.

You might also like:

10 Tax Tips for LGBT Married Couples

Expert Answers: How DOMA Will Impact Filing for Taxes

Photography by All Digital Photo and Video

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Always Among Friends: St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Always Among Friends: St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Published: Friday, 21 February 2014 00:56

Many consider the island of St. John to be the jewel in the Caribbean crown. Affluent and tranquil, this tiny tropical paradise is only 13 miles long and four miles wide.

Glaciers, Humpbacks and Bears, Oh My: Honeymoon on an Alaskan Cruise
Glaciers, Humpbacks and Bears, Oh My: Honeymoon on an Alaskan Cruise
Published: Tuesday, 18 June 2013 19:11

Cruises serving the LGBT community have long been popular, but gay-friendly traveling options are widening as cruise lines increasingly welcome same-sex couples. 

Pocono Mountains Retreat: Mount Airy Casino Resort
Pocono Mountains Retreat: Mount Airy Casino Resort
Published: Tuesday, 30 April 2013 05:00

Mount Airy Casino Resort offers a picturesque honeymoon and wedding destination to gay, lesbian and allied couples alike.

ASK KIRSTEN Wedding Advice from our Editor

Our Families Don't Know We're Queer or Our Gender Identification and We're Getting Married
Our Families Don't Know We're Queer or Our Gender Identification and We're Getting Married
Published: Tuesday, 08 April 2014 05:00

As we approach our engagement party where our families will meet our partner for the first time, as well as each other, we are feeling really nervous that they will be uncomfortable and confused.