Domestic Partnerships in New York
How Is a Domestic Partnership Defined Under New York Law?
In New York, a domestic partnership is defined as a legal relationship
between two people who live with one another and share much of their lives,
but are not married or united in a civil union. Under some state laws,
including those of California and Nevada, domestic partnerships function
in much the same way and legally recognized unions, whereas other states
may bestow fewer rights to individuals in domestic partnerships.
How the law views domestic relationships is continually evolving, and depends
on the jurisdiction where a couple resides. For example, couples who reside
together for a long period of time may be eligible for various legal rights
in a domestic partnership, provided it is established in the jurisdiction.
Ultimately, registration of a domestic partnership allows for the jurisdiction
to formally recognize the relationship.
Protecting Your Rights through a Domestic Partnership
Domestic partners may be entitled to certain rights, including the recognition
of contribution one individual makes to the property of the other. Devices
like the constructive trust are options which may be used by partners
in legal marriages, but may not be available to domestic partners. This
has prompted courts to find another way to protect the partner who makes
contributions to the other’s property.
Some couples enter into a domestic partnership to agree on issues involving:
Same-Sex Marriage vs. Domestic Partnerships in New York
Although same-sex marriage is now legal in all U.S. states, domestic partnership
is still an option. It does, however, come with more limited rights. In
New York, lawfully married individuals, including those in same-sex marriages,
are entitled to more rights and benefits than those registered as domestic
partners. Furthermore, if a couple enters into a same-sex marriage in
a state other than New York, they are still entitled to some of the same
rights and benefits available to lawfully married couples in the state.
If you have questions about domestic partnerships in New York, please schedule
an initial consultation with our
divorce attorney, Lois M. Brenner, Esq. Call now: (646) 663-4546.