Same-Sex Marriage & Divorce Lawyers

Posted By Adam Denton, On October 2, 2017

In Long Island and the rest of New York, same-sex marriage was made mainstream after the introduction of the Marriage Equality Act of 2011. Since that historical time, many same-sex couples have been able to legally get married to celebrate their relationships and their life together. While marriage equality is definitely a positive thing, same-sex couples, just like heterosexual couples, can face the same challenges in terms of separation and divorce. Additionally, these couples have other challenges to face, particularly when moving out of state or when trying to establish rights to property outside of New York. It is important to seek the assistance of a skilled attorney who can help to protect your rights, whether you are planning on getting married or are headed for a divorce.

The Importance of Seeking Pre-Marital Advice

Whether you are a same-sex couple or a heterosexual couple, you would certainly benefit from seeking legal advice before you walk down the aisle to tie the knot. Because there are very special challenges that arise with gay marriages, you can really benefit from getting advice from a skilled marriage lawyer before making it official. Your attorney can help to address specific needs that may come up. There are important things to consider, such as the issue of a pre-marriage or pre-nuptial agreement.

Unfortunately, there are certain issues that make it difficult to draft pre-marital agreements for same-sex couples that are valid and legally binding. Largely, this is due to many states refusing to acknowledge gay marriage or lacking understanding when it comes to same-sex marriages. As a result, many couples can face problems when they or one spouse move out of the state. If there is no valid pre-marital agreement created prior to moving from Long Island or anywhere else in New York to another state, problems can arise regarding the resolution of property distribution if the couple decides to divorce. Frequently, in such a situation, any property owned by the former couple is distributed in a manner that neither party ever wanted. The first step toward ensuring that such an issue does not surface is to seek the counsel of a skilled New York marriage attorney and have a legally binding pre-marital agreement drafted. It can save both parties a great deal of headaches should they decide to end their marriage.

Additionally, these agreements can also cover the distribution of property if one of the spouses in a same-sex marriage dies. It ensures that the surviving spouse gets what is rightfully theirs.

Same-Sex Divorce in New York

If a same-sex couple was married in a different state, they can still legally seek a divorce in New York if they decide their relationship is no longer worth saving. However, at the same time, to initiate a divorce in the state, you must prove that you have lived in New York for at least one year.

In many cases, a same-sex couple may have entered into a domestic partnership that is legally recognized by other states or in a civil union. If the couple is legally married after one of those unions, they must dissolve both to truly be considered divorced.

Children are another concern after the end of a same-sex marriage. It’s important to have legal representation not only for the divorce but for any child support, custody and visitation issues as well. Get in touch with an experienced marriage or divorce lawyer at your earliest convenience.