Breaking Up is Even HARDER to Do…Pre-nups for Same Sex Couples

Breaking Up is Even HARDER to Do…Pre-nups for Same Sex Couples

Pre-nups for Same Sex Couples

On June 24, 2011, the New York State Legislature passed the Marriage Equality Act.  The act, which allows marriage by same sex couples, went into effect 30 days later on July 24, 2011.

New York has joined Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the District of Columbia in recognizing and permitting same sex marriages.

What Does the Marriage Equality Act Say?

Under the Act, all of the State rights, protections, and obligations of heterosexual spouses are extended to same sex spouses. Or more accurately, the rights, protections, and obligations are extended to same sex spouses… so long as they remain in New York or another state that recognizes same sex marriages. This last clause is fraught with complexities, both legal and practical.

Many lawyers are advising their LGBT clients to call their lawyer before they call their mother to break the news of a pending marriage. While this may sound like a joke, marriage is not joke—and the complexities that may arise in a same sex marriage are equally serious, if not more so, than the issues that arise in heterosexual marriages.

Fortunately, many issues can be resolved before they arise though the strategic use of a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement.  A qualified attorney will be able to assist in preparing a pre or post nuptial agreement for a same sex married couple or a same sex married couple contemplating marriage.

Below are a few same sex pre-nuptial issues that you should discuss with a qualified attorney:

  1. Portability of marital rights and protections to other states and countries.
  2. Adoption of children of the marriage by the non-biological same sex parent.
  3. Recognition by the federal government.
  4. Tax implications.
  5. Long term care options.
  6. Estate planning and ancillary probate issues from other states intersecting with probate in New York (probating a will upon the death of one of the parties).

The Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, PLLC is able to assist you in addressing many of these issues. Contact us today!