July 29, 2014

Same-Sex Divorces: Multiple Registrations

Ending a relationship is always complicated and emotional. But it may be even more difficult of you and your spouse made multiple legal commitments to each other. For example, if you registered as a domestic partnership in California, then went to Hawaii and registered as reciprocal beneficiary partners there, then were finally married in your home state of New York, you may have no idea what to do about all of this if you were to split up. At Strazzullo Law & Associates, PLLC, our New York law firm can help you understand your legal obligations and rights in a complex legal situation such as this.

Why do I need to legally end my partnership?

Because the laws regarding civil unions and same-sex marriage can differ greatly between state legislations, the legal and financial consequences of registration can be complicated. Remaining married, registered, or partnered means that you are still legally and financially bound to your partner. State-level partnerships or marriages must be legally terminated, or you may be partially responsible for your ex’s debts, liable for spousal support, and it could even prevent you from remarrying or reregistering with someone new. Also, if you die while you are still marries, registered, or partnered, your ex may be entitled to inherit your property. Even local registrations—for instance, if your registered with your employer for insurance purposes, or the city for residency purposes—should be formally ended, for clarity’s sake at least.

How do I legally end my partnership?

Local registrations are simple—each locality will have its own termination form. Your partner may not even need to sign the form, but you should still notify your ex of the action and send a copy to your partner’s last known address, so that you can show you tried in case any issue comes up.

State registrations or marriages are usually more complicated—sometimes you can file out a termination form for partnerships, other times you may have to go through a full-fledged divorce process.

If you have registrations in multiple states, try to file termination in the state where you first registered. You can ask the court to end all subsequent partnerships. Or begin by taking steps to end the registration that is legally the strongest. Meaning, if you are married and registered as domestic partners, you’ll want to file for divorce (terminate the marriage) and try to get the court to end the domestic partnership at the same time. A qualified NY family attorney from the Strazzullo Law & Associates, PLLC can help you decide which steps to take first.

As you can see the process of terminating a marriage or partnership can be complicated, but with the helpful experience of the Strazzullo Law & Associates, PLLC, you can ensure that you have taken steps for a successful new future.