August 30, 2013
Janis Cowhey, Tax & Business Services Partner, Featured in Long Island Business News Article "DOMA Defeated, Now What?"
By Ambrose Clancy
When same-sex couples marry, their financial future is often on equal footing with their desire to publicly and joyously declare their love as a motivating factor.
But marriage for both couples meant navigating through a fog of regulations from separate government agencies, where bureaucracies take time to reverse course and don't always communicate with each other on policy.
Even with a key provision of DOMA overturned in June by an historic Supreme Court ruling, same-sex couples and their accountants and financial advisers are still monitoring through the aftershocks, often forces to take a wait-and-see attitude on how government agencies will proceed.
Janis McDonagh, a partner with Marcum, the Melville accounting firm, lines up with her colleagues in advising clients to have patience and see how the dust settles after the landmark DOMA ruling, with accountants and advisers stuck with Rumsfeldian conundrums of "knowns and unknowns."
"There are a lot of unknown questions," McDonagh said.
Confusing the matter is that each agency of the federal government defines marriage in its own way.
"Some define it as where it was celebrated, and others will define it as where the couple lives," McDonagh said.