As difficult as any divorce is, changing laws can make this process even
more difficult. This is the case with same-sex divorce, especially when
a couple has registered for a civil union or
domestic partnership in another state. Say for instance that a couple registered as beneficiary
partners in Hawaii, entered a civil union in Colorado, or registered as
domestic partners in Nevada. Then they moved to New York. And then the
Marriage Equality Act passed. So that couple got married. If the couple wants to get a divorce,
then they have to also take care of any previous legal partnerships they
have entered into.
If this is your situation, then it is vital that you take action to end
all your legal commitments, otherwise, you could be on the hook for your
ex's debt. You might owe them additional
spousal support. Or your ex could end up with your property if you pass away. If you divorced
your spouse but did not take care of a domestic partnership you two registered
for in another state, for example, then you would not be free to enter
into a partnership or marriage with someone else. There are numerous reasons
why you will have to cover your legal bases.
The specific steps you will have to take will vary according to your situation.
That is why it is best to consult with a skilled family lawyer in Long
Island as soon as possible. As a general rule however, you could try to
end more than one relationship at once by tackling the biggest legal commitment
first. For example then, if you live in New York and got married here,
and you registered for a domestic partnership in another state prior to
that, you can file for a divorce. Then you can ask the court to grant
you the divorce and dissolve the partnership at the same time. Or if you
got married in another state but first filed for a domestic partnership
in New York, you could try ending the domestic partnership here first,
and you could request that the court end the marriage simultaneously.
However, if you got married in New York, but now live in a state where
same-sex marriage is not recognized, then that state might not grant you a
divorce. Your first step may have to be establishing residency in New York so
you can get a divorce. There are a number of other complicated scenarios
that could play out if you have multiple registrations in different states.
In order to ensure that you take the right steps for your future, be sure to
contact the Meyers Law Group, P.C. Our experienced Long Island divorce lawyer is familiar with all recent
changes in family law, and our firm can help you navigate the complexities
of this legal field to get you the divorce settlement you deserve.