– By Renee Marinez
When considering the idea of same sex marriage from a financial standpoint there are several possibilities that one should consider. Depending on the scenario, a couple may be positively or negatively impacted. Some of the possible negative consequences are income taxes, government benefits, and divorce. Income taxes can be lowered if one spouse earns significantly more than the other. Couples with equal earnings can face a higher tax bill, and if they are bringing home $180,000 combined, they will be taxed at a top rate of 33% opposed to bringing home $90,000 as two single people with a top rate of 28%. As incomes increase, this negative impact becomes greater. Government benefits may be reduced if they get married. Marriage boosts household income, which may make couples ineligible for financial aid, and will increase the possibility of student loans. In addition, Medicaid is a government health insurance program designed to assist financially troubled elderly citizens pay for long-term care expenses. Older financially troubled couples may want to consider if they should stay “single” in order to qualify for Medicaid without bankrupting their partner. Divorce is an event that may only benefit the financially weaker partner in the break up.