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Pentagon offers benefits to same-sex spouses

Fort Carson in Colorado stated that the base would offer the same benefits to same-sex spouses as it does to heterosexual ones, but that in order for same-sex spouses to gain access to those benefits, they must procure marriage certificates. Colorado is one of the states that only recognizes civil unions among same-sex couples, so in order for service members to get marriage certificates, they must travel to other states.

The DOD reportedly made the move to offer the same spousal and family benefits to same-sex spouses as other military service members after the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down. The DOD reported that same-sex couples who live in states where same-sex marriage is illegal will be able to take non-chargeable leaves to travel to states where it is legal to obtain marriage certificates.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the DOD's new policy will permit same-sex couples to have access to all the same health, housing and compensation benefits as other service members. Moreover, same-sex couples who apply for such benefits will get them retroactively from the date the Supreme Court ruled against the Defense of Marriage Act, which was June 26, 2013.

Same-sex couples who are looking to get married or divorced might benefit from seeking the service of family law attorneys. Family law attorneys might be able to keep them updated on the latest laws concerning same-sex couples, as well as assisting them in filing any necessary motions with the court to achieve their means. Additionally, they may be able to help them resolve the same kinds of issues that heterosexual couples have, from prenuptial agreements to child custody issues. Laws concerning same-sex couples are not clear-cut in all states, so attorneys might be able to advise people as to what states they can go to to resolve their issues.

Source: KUNC, "Pentagon Extends Benefits To Same-Sex Spouses, Fort Carson Reacts", Nathan Heffel, August 15, 2013

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