In 2011, New York legalized same-sex marriage. Although all divorcing couples face similar issues of spousal and child support, child custody, and property division, there are differences to consider after a same-sex marriage.
Many couples who take advantage of the new law in New York already enjoyed a long-term civil union, accumulating wealth, property, or both. In preparing prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements for these clients, I work to protect and define distribution of these assets upon their divorce.
If these same couples consider divorce, a prior agreement protects their assets. Divorcing same-sex couples without these protections may see assets they thought were separate divided as part of their marital estate. The process for asset protection in all divorces is the same. When needed, I consult skilled forensic specialists to locate and value assets to create an accurate financial picture.
Child custody is another area not yet well-defined in New York. If the non-biological or non-adoptive parent of a child did not adopt the child of his or her partner, discussions about custody and parenting time rights become contentious upon divorce. These issues have the ability to create a lifetime of ill-will between divorcing parties, regardless of orientation.
In 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau reported there were 131,729 same-sex married couple households in our country. As the issue of same-sex marriage takes center stage in American politics, people continue to marry and get divorced. Love, life, and the law—some things remain the same.
As a Buffalo divorce lawyer for 27 years, I have devoted myself to solving the problems that affect families throughout the Buffalo metropolitan area and Western New York. As a family law attorney, I make it my goal to create a partnership of trust with my clients. People put their trust in me to handle cases that can potentially have a long-lasting impact on not only their lives, but the lives of their family as well.
Alexandra M. Rockwood is an Associate Attorney with the Law Offices of Randy S. Margulis & Associates and has been with the firm since early 2020. She practices primarily in the areas of matrimonial and family law. Ms. Rockwood graduated magna cum laude from SUNY Geneseo with a degree in History and minors in Political…