The New York Marriage Equality Act

NYC Family Law Attorney: Same Sex Marriage

Gay couple

Thankfully, New York State legislators have recognized that same sex couples should have the same rights as other couples, in the passage of the Marriage Equality Act. This Act allows same sex couples to be married, as well as divorced, separated, and in matters related to parental rights. The federal government also recognizes same sex marriage with regard to tax payments when the marriage was performed in a jurisdiction in which the marriage is legally recognized, as it became in the State of New York as of June 24, 2011 when the bill was signed.

The Marriage Equality Act and Divorce

Same sex spouses also gain specific rights in divorce that were not possible prior to the passage of the Marriage Equality Act. A spouse has the right to seek support and a fair share of the marital property in divorce. All matters related to divorce, including child support, property division, spousal support, child custody and other issues are addressed in the same manner as any other divorce. As with any other marriage, your rights with regard to your legal status, your rights, benefits, privileges, protections or responsibilities relating to marriage will no longer differ due to any matter related to the gender of the marriage partners.

If prior to the Act being passed, you had a domestic partnership in place, there could be some legal issues to sort out before the marriage takes place. You will be required to terminate the domestic partnership agreement prior to getting married, or you could face legal conflict. If you were married in another state or country in which same sex marriage was legal prior to the passage of the Act, your marriage will be recognized as valid, and there is no need to have another marriage performed in the State of New York.

A marriage in New York for same sex couples allows you to gain the state tax benefits, insurance benefits, health care and family leave benefits, as well as critical issues regarding inheritances will be far simpler to resolve. If you have specific questions about the Equality in Marriage Act, connect with our legal team. We can help with all family law matters, including any that impact same sex couples. Call now.