Though far less common today than in years past, domestic partnerships among all types of couples are still recognized and performed in certain jurisdictions across New York State, most notably in the New York City metropolitan area. Because these unions do not bear the same legal standing or benefits as marriage, they are subject to different laws when either or both partners seek to end their partnership. On a related note, while the state of New York has not allowed common-law marriages in over eighty years, New York does recognize such marriages when contracted in other states. A divorce attorney will help you to better determine how New York’s specific divorce laws apply to your domestic partnership or common-law marriage.
New York is among the 41 states that incorporate equitable distribution in divorce cases. Equitable distribution refers to the specific way in a divorce case in which property and finances are divided between the two former spouses. A key takeaway is that equitable distribution is not always the same thing as equal distribution; instead of a 50/50 split of marital assets, a judge or mediator will divide money, personal effects, and real estate according to each spouse’s particular circumstances. Time spent raising children, contributions to marital property, educational support, and earning ability are factors that can play a major role in determining which spouse receives which assets. Unless both spouses signed a prenuptial agreement that explicitly covered the distribution of marital property in the event of divorce, the court will have to decide how to divide assets. Though this distribution will likely be fair, it may not be equal.
Domestic Partnerships and Divorce
Grounds for divorce and equitable distribution are merely the tip of the iceberg where divorce is concerned. Once you have decided to file for divorce, you will have to consider such issues as alimony (also known as spousal support), child support, pre-marriage surnames, and child custody. You should trust that your divorce attorney will be able to guide you through every last element of New York divorce law.
Our law office has years of experience supporting clients at each stage of their divorce cases, and it is our pledge to help you achieve the outcome that you desire. Contact our office today to set up an initial consultation.