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Orange County Family Law Attorney

Same Sex Marriage in California Permissible

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law Firm

Same sex marriages may take place in some U.S. states, but not others. Find out which states allow the marriage and benefits that go with it before tying the knot.

“Rather than make a major error by getting married in a state that does not recognize same sex unions, it’s wise to spend some time researching the matter. This will let you choose a state where unions like this are acceptable. Also make sure you find out if you need to be a citizen of that state as well,” said Gerald A. Maggio, an Orange County family lawyer.

Partners that want a legally recognized union and any benefits that go with it should aim to get married in New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey and Vermont. These states will allow same sex civil unions and accord them with the same legal rights and obligations as marriages.

“A handful of states also offer limited same sex civil unions, but you need to check to see if you must be a resident of that state. In many cases, the states offering civil unions, as opposed to legal marriages, insist the people involved be citizens of that state,” Maggio explained. Things are very different in California and Massachusetts, where same sex couples may get legally married, just the same way a heterosexual couple would and thus get the same legal rights.

“Be aware that California will legally marry any couple from any state, but in Massachusetts, this isn’t the case. You need to live there to get married,” Maggio outlined. When it comes down to the date, time and place, if a same sex marriage is the goal, getting hitched in California may be the best option, as if offers much greater flexibility in circumstances like this.

There are some California counties that won’t sanction same sex marriage, but these same counties also can’t perform a wedding for a heterosexual couple either, or they may face charges of discrimination. Doing due diligence on wedding locations is a smart idea. So is researching the various fees in different counties and their operating hours.

“There is no problem when it comes to the paperwork for a same sex marriage, as it’s the same as for other marriages, but for the fact the papers don’t say bride and groom, but instead, Party A and B. Bring photo ID and if there is a divorce involved in the history of one or both of the partners, bring the divorce papers. There is no requirement in California for a blood test or health check,” commented Maggio.

Same sex marriage should not be confused with domestic partnerships, something that needs to be discussed in detail with a dedicated and skilled family law attorney.

Gerald A. Maggio is senior partner of The Maggio Law Firm, Inc., an Orange County and Riverside Divorce and Family Law firm headquartered in Irvine, California.  The Maggio Law Firm is experienced in all aspects of divorce and family law matters, including child custody, child support, spousal support, complicated high asset marital property cases, and domestic partnerships.

TFor more information or to schedule a consultation with Orange County divorce lawyer Gerald Maggio, contact The Maggio Law Firm by calling (949) 553-0304 or visiting

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