Should the Supreme Court strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as solely between a man and a woman, same-sex couples will see big changes to their finances -- for better and for worse.
Adele and Jennifer Hoppe-House expect big savings if DOMA is overturned.
They would no longer owe the $3,000 to $4,000 in taxes on the health insurance benefits that Adele has to pay to get coverage through Jennifer's plan. Filing their taxes jointly would save them another roughly $1,000 per year because the disparity in their incomes would allow them to qualify for a lower tax rate.
And it gets better. They may even be owed a refund of more than $13,000 for the extra tax they paid over the last three years. They plan to file a protective refund claim with the IRS to ensure that they will be able to get this money back in case DOMA is struck down. They would use this windfall to pay back debt they accrued when Jennifer, a TV writer, stopped working during the Writer's Guild Strike a few years ago.
But with the excitement comes apprehension, especially after they celebrated legal gay marriage in California, only to see it become swiftly banned months later by Proposition 8. "The trajectory is going in the right direction," Adele said. "But we've almost been trained to wait until the law passes -- there have been so many false starts and hopes dashed that to start planning for any financial gain or equanimity almost seems premature."