The law is rapidly evolving for same sex couples and now civil marriage is a reality. There are still many complex issues involved especially for those couples who may relocate to another state where marriage is not recognized. For over two decades, Meenan & Associates has been at the forefront in advancing the rights and interests of same sex couples and their families. Colleen Meenan has appeared in both state and federal court at trial and on appeal to advance and protect the rights of same sex individuals and their relationships. We remain committed to advancing these interests and also know how to assist if a relationship should end. For all of these reasons, you can count on us to provide trusted, caring and experienced legal advice. Give us a call and scheduled an appointment.
Domestic Partnership Agreements
For couples who have a close relationship and wish to establish a legal relationship without getting married, domestic partnership is one option. New York’s Domestic Partnership Law recognizes the many different family configurations present in New York, including gay and lesbian couples. If you meet certain requirements, you and your partner can register as domestic partners and enjoy the benefits NY extends to domestic partners. We have experience drafting and negotiating domestic partnership agreements in which gay and lesbian partners outline their rights and obligations to each other. We can help you chart out what you want to happen in the event that the domestic partnership is terminated.
Marriage: Counseling and Agreements
In 2011, the Marriage Equality Act was passed, making sex-marriage legal in New York. This law allows same-sex couples in NY to enjoy the same benefits of marriage under NY law as opposite-sex couples. However, many states still do not allow same-sex marriage and do not recognize same-sex marriages entered into in other states. Until recently, the federal government did not recognize same-sex marriage. As a result of a June 2013 decision of the US Supreme Court, the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages that are entered into in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage. Since then, the federal government has extended federal benefits to people in same-sex marriages.
Same-sex couples planning on marrying need to be counseled on the complicated legal landcape for same-sex marriage. Since not all states recognize same-sex marriages, it is very important for same-sex couples who want to marry to have a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement in place that sets their legal obligations to each other. Attorney Meenan can help you negotiate and draft an agreement that fits your unique circumstances as a couple. Same-sex spouses who wish to divorce also face unique challenges. For example, if same-sex spouses who wish to divorce reside in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage, they may have to move to another state that does recognize their marriage. These issues can be addressed in a properly drafted agreement.
Divorce: Uncontested Divorces, Separation Agreements and Settlement Agreements
If a marriage is not working out for one or both parties in a same-sex marriage, Attorney Meenan can help the couple to separate or to end the marriage in an amicable and fair way. Attorney Meenan can help the parties resolve issues of equitable distribution of property, spousal support or maintenance, child support, child custody and access or visitation, and parenting schedules. Attorney Meenan can help negotiate and prepare a separation or settlement agreement that resolves these issues, and can assist you in all stages of obtaining an uncontested divorce.