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Same-Sex Marriage in New York: Times Are Changing


On June 24, 2011, same-sex marriage was legalized in New York — a development long sought by supporters and gay-rights organizations in our state. The action sparked controversy, kicked off a wave of weddings and brought business to the state and its coffers.

After Election Day 2012, same-sex marriage is now legal in nine states plus the District of Columbia. While the marriage of all couples brings recognition of marital rights, it also confers responsibilities in the event of divorce.

Despite intolerance faced over the years by same-sex couples seeking marriage, divorce does not discriminate. For all married couples, obtaining a divorce consumes time, emotional energy and financial resources. Developing a marital agreement, like a prenuptial agreement, is a legal way to protect wealth and create a structure for divorce if a relationship breaks down.

Criticized as plans for failure, prenuptial agreements are actually the opposite. Discussion of financial support and property division at the outset of marriage grounds a couple in the financial reality of the union they seek to sanctify. Faultlines that emerge as a result of financial discussions prior to marriage are better discovered before the caterer is hired.

The rights of same-sex couples continue to develop. In October, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York ruled unconstitutional part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, enacted in 1996.

Marriage is a long-held dream for many couples. If planning a wedding — plan for life, and contact our firm to create a prenuptial agreement.