Governor Cuomo to Push for Same-Sex Marriage – How can same-sex couples protect themselves in the meantime?
March 09, 2011 – Albany, N.Y. – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo says he’ll make good on a campaign promise and push for a vote to legalize same-sex marriage this legislative session. A gay marriage bill has repeatedly passed in the New York State Assembly but failed when it came up for a vote in the Senate in 2009. If the law doesn’t pass this year, same-sex couples may want to consider a number of legal options intended to protect themselves, their partners and their futures.
“The same-sex community is vastly underserved when it comes to legal options,” said Tully Rinckey PLLC Partner Jennifer Corcoran, who has been practicing family and matrimonial law for fifteen years. “Until a same-sex marriage law is on the books in New York, couples need a plan in place that will protect their families.”
Corcoran says there are a number of legal options for same-sex couples:
- Adoption agreements
- Cohabitation agreements
- Estate planning
- Custody agreements
- Health care proxies
- Powers of attorney
“The most important thing is that people know their rights and are educated on their behalf about their legal options,” added Corcoran. “For instance, if a same-sex couple doesn’t have a health care proxy in place and one person is hospitalized and unable to make their own health care decisions, their partner will not be able to make health care decisions on their behalf.”
Corcoran said children tend to be another unfortunate battleground for same-sex couples. “Having an adoption agreement or custody arrangement in place can save a lot of time, money and heartache,” she added.