Legal protections for same-sex couples are evolving rapidly on a national level and within many states. In 2013, the Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor, struck down part of the Defense of Marriage act. As a result, validly married same-sex couples now receive federal recognition of their relationship and all of the federal benefits provided to opposite-sex couples.
In New York, the Marriage Equality Act provides comprehensive protections for same-sex couples. The law mandates that same-sex couples receive all of the protections provided to opposite-sex couples within the state’s boundaries. The statute also imposes all of the same responsibilities on married same-sex couples, such as the obligation to financially support an indigent spouse or the responsibility for spousal debts, that are imposed on opposite-sex couples. Likewise, New Jersey’s statute creating civil unions for same sex couples provides comprehensive protections for same sex couples within New Jersey.
However, the rights conferred to same sex couples by statute in New York and New Jersey are limited by legislation or constitutional amendments in other jurisdictions that define marriage solely as a union between one man and one woman. As a result, the rights granted by New York and New Jersey, and now the Federal government, may not be recognized in states hostile to same-sex marriage.
At J.C. Latimer Law, we are committed to helping same-sex couples protect their rights and their families, whether you choose to marry or not. Specifically, we work with clients on:
- Pre-nuptial Agreements
- Co-habitation Agreements
- Family Planning
- Sperm donation agreements
- Second Parent Adoption
- Financial and Estate Planning
For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please call 347.274.5906