Same-sex couples are going to Maryland to get married
This week, a federal judge recognized an out of state marriage of a gay couple in Ohio even though Ohio has a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages. This couple had traveled to Maryland to get married.
Montgomery County, Maryland welcomes non-residents as well as local residents to get married in the County. The marriage license application takes only about 15 minutes to complete and the cost for the license is only $55. The marriage license must be purchased at least 48 hours before the marriage ceremony and non-residents can apply by mail.
Those that wish to get married at the Montgomery County Judicial Center can schedule a ceremony for which there is a $25 fee. Dolores and I recently attended a marriage ceremony at the County office and it was very nicely done. They have a chapel-like facility adjoining the licensing office.
So, with a little planning, out of state couples can get married in Montgomery County, Maryland for a total of $80. There is an additional $5.50 fee for each certified copy of the marriage license. The certified copies can be used as proof of the marriage.
Why is this information important for service providers, including real estate professionals? Even though same-sex marriages are allowed in only a dozen or so states, these couples can go to states that do allow the marriages and will then be eligible for additional federal and state benefits. In the recent Ohio case, one of the benefits is that the spouse will be allowed to be buried in a family cemetery where plots are restricted to direct descendants and spouses.
Laws and regulations regarding same-sex marriages are rapidly changing and is a good idea to obtain legal advice on the best way to take title for a home purchase or for estate planning.
Kentlands, Flowers IMG_6046
Photograph by Roy Kelley using a Canon PowerShot G11 camera.