Queens, NY (PRWEB) January 31, 2014
Gay marriage has been legal in New York since 2011, and there are still many questions about how same sex couples go about getting a divorce. While divorce on its own can be a complicated and trying matter, it can be much more complicated for same sex couples. Bruce Feinstein, Esq., a divorce attorney in Queens, New York with over 15 years of experience, points out some of the unique issues same sex couples should address when considering or beginning a divorce.
One issue to address is time: New York’s same sex marriage laws have been on the books for over two years, but countless same sex couples have been together for much longer, making their relationships harder to untangle during a divorce. Many couples have been together for years, or decades, prior to the new laws, and this is an issue when most courts will only split assets starting from the time a couple was legally married. This can put other important parts of a couples’ lives, such as assets, property, and beneficiary information, into a murky area.
“It is important for couples, regardless of sexual orientation, to speak openly about how they wish to share things like property and insurance,” says Mr. Feinstein. “It’s not a romantic conversation, but it can save you a lot of money and stress should you decide to end your marriage.”
Another factor is a same sex couple’s location. Couples married in New York must reside in the state for one year in order to get divorced in New York. But for same sex couples in nearby states who got their marriage licenses in New York, this can prove to be a financial nightmare. And this issue is much more common for same sex couples, since relatively few states legally recognize and offer same sex marriages. States that do not recognize gay marriage usually won’t grant a divorce to a same sex couple that was married in another state. Mr. Feinstein encourages couples to speak about residency before they apply for a marriage license or domestic partnership.
There is also the matter of child custody in New York for same sex couples. Since one or both of the parents in a same sex marriage is not the biological parent, there is a host of additional paperwork, cost, and legal issues that arise during a divorce proceeding. “I encourage couples who are starting or expanding their families to think long and hard about the legal side of the process”, says Mr. Feinstein. “Considering whether one or both parents officially adopt their children is an important part of that process.”
Along with open communication and proper research regarding custody, location, and assets is the need to have an educated divorce attorney. A divorce attorney in New York should be knowledgeable about same sex divorce laws in order to protect a client’s rights and properly navigate the state’s legal system without creating more cost to the client. As with heterosexual couples, the process from marriage to divorce should be a quick and efficient as possible, whether the divorce is uncontested or contested.
The Law Offices of Bruce Feinstein, Esq. has nearly two decades of experience in divorce law, helping clients and families resolve their issues and move forward with their lives. Visit feinsteindivorcelaw.com for more information or call (718) 514-9770 to reach the New York office.