Gay marriage lawyer in New York.

Same-Sex Marriage, Domestic Partnerships, and LGBTQ Family Legal Services

All same-sex couples contemplating marriage should seek counsel from a specialist in this area of law. Barry is a recognized expert in this area of law. Barry counsels and represents his clients in the following areas:

  • Same-Sex Marriage – The historic decision of Obergefell v. Hodges (PDF), issued by the United States Supreme Court on June 26, 2015, held that same-sex couples have the right to be legally married in every state and every same-sex marriage must be legally recognized and afforded the same rights as heterosexual marriages. 

  • New York City Domestic Partnerships – A Domestic Partnership in New York City may be registered by two people where either or both of the parties are at least 18 years old, are New York City residents, or at least one person is employed by the City of New York on the date of registration. Neither party can be married or related by blood in a way that would bar his or her marriage in New York State. The parties must have a close and committed personal relationship and live together on a continuous basis. Neither party can be registered in any other Domestic Partnership and cannot have been registered as a Domestic Partner within six months of the date of registration.

  • Domestic Partnership Agreements – These agreements specify each partner's rights and responsibilities in their relationship together. They address the partners' division of property, assets, minor children, health benefits, housing rights and other related individual issues specific to the couple while they are together, or in the event of a separation or a dissolution of their relationship.

  • Prenuptial Agreements – A same-sex Prenuptial Agreement allows individuals to protect their financial rights that include income and assets defined as “separate”, meaning those acquired by a spouse to be prior to the marriage, and “marital”, meaning those acquired by the couple together during the marriage. A prenuptial agreement is useful for determining property rights or addressing alimony issues, but it cannot be used to resolve custody or make binding agreements involving children.

  • Collaborative Resolution – An alternative form of dispute resolution effective in same-sex divorce matters or domestic partnership dissolutions. The separating couples each have an attorney and work primarily in four-way meetings. The separating couple is directly involved in the negotiated settlement process and agreement to resolve such issues as property distribution, child custody and visitation and real estate. Since New York law does not necessarily protect the rights of non-traditional families, the collaborative law approach may be the best way for non-traditional families to reach a settlement that works best for them. A team of advocates including child specialists and financial experts may be consulted to assist, if necessary. Collaborative Law is different than mediation, which centers on the participants working with one neutral person.

  • Estate Planning – With the ever present changing rules of law relating to inheritance rights for non-traditional families, same-sex couples should insure their protection through appropriate estate planning. The preparation of Wills, Health Care Proxies, Living Wills, Durable Powers of Attorney, releases for access to medical information and directions for the disposition of a partner’s or spouse’s remains, should each be considered and addressed. Consult with Barry to address these complex legal issues and implement an estate plan to insure that domestic partners, same-sex spouses and their children are protected in life and upon death.