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Same Sex Divorce and Prenuptial Agreements

Divorces and Prenuptial Agreements between Same-Sex Couples

On June 15, 2011, New York State legalized same-sex marriage by passing the Marriage Equality Act. On June 26, 2015, marriage equality became the law of the nation when the landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges was decided by the United States Supreme Court.

In the years between the Marriage Equality Act and Obergefell, New York, along with many other states, found itself in a confusing legal morass. Theoretically, spouses in a state, such as New York, that recognized same-sex marriage who wanted to avoid the consequences of a divorce – primarily alimony and equitable distribution obligations – could do so by fleeing to a state that did not recognize same-sex marriages.  Additionally, couples who had seen their unions made legal in other states in the years prior to the Marriage Equality Act were unsure of their rights in divorce. Which state’s laws would govern?

The Obergefell decision obviated these difficulties for same-sex couples marrying after June 25, 2015.   However, the law is still new and in a state of flux regarding same-sex divorces, particularly divorces in which spouses reside in two different states. Obergefell, after all, held that the right to marry may not be withheld from same-sex couples – it said nothing about the right to divorce.

The attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP, have studied this issue extensively and kept abreast with all legal trends concerning same-sex couples. Our firm is particularly well-suited to helping a same-sex spouse end his or her marriage in an equitable fashion that minimizes conflict. Additionally, our attorneys have educated themselves in issues that may be unique to prenuptial and postnuptial agreements between same-sex couples, including issues surrounding adoption and surrogacy.

To learn more about how our attorneys can assist you in obtaining a same-sex divorce, or in negotiating a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, contact our firm and one of our legal professionals will be happy to assist you.