A Few Reasons Why Same-Sexed Couples Should Seek Counsel Before They Say “I Do”

Rincker Law Family/Matrimonial Law Leave a Comment

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On June 24, 2011, New York enacted the Marriage Equality Act.  The Act goes into effect on July 24, 2011.  New York is now the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage.  There are a couple reasons why it is important for same same-sexed couples to seek counsel before “tying the knot.”

1.  Prenuptial agreements are especially important for same-sexed couples for a myriad of reasons, including but not limited to, child custody.  There is no longer a presumption that a child will be placed with the mother if there are two mothers or two fathers.  So once you “pop the question,” pop the other question — “Will you sign a prenup?”

2.   Although New York state now recognizes same-sex marriage, the federal government will not.  Pursuant to the Clinton Administration’s Defense of Marriage Act, the federal government will not recognize same-sex marriages in states where it is legal. Same-sex couples will not be considered “married” for federal tax purposes and will not receive social security benefits.  Furthermore, an immigrant will not be able to receive a Greencard by marrying a same-sexed person.  It is possible that the law will change in this area.

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