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Same Sex Marriage Comes to New York

marriage-150x127On Friday, June 24, 2011, New York became the largest state in the country to allow lesbian and gay couples to marry. It was questionable, up to the last minute, as to whether this law would pass the New York State Senate. In the final moments, four Republican majority members joined all but one Democrat and voted in support of the gay rights statute.

Previously Passed by New York State Assembly

The New York State Assembly had passed the same sex marriage law last week. Immediately after the law was passed, Governor Cuomo signed the law. This means the law went into effect on July 24, 2011.

New York is the fifth state in the country to permit the same sex marriages. The other states that have approved same sex marriages are: Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Iowa and Connecticut.

This is the third year in a row that gay rights advocates had lobbied for New York State to pass a gay rights marriage bill. Governor Andrew Cuomo lobbied the New York State Legislature to pass this law. Governor Cuomo made this bill one of his top legislative priorities for the year.

Cap on Local Property Taxes

In addition to passing a same sex marriage law, the New York State Legislature passed statutes which created a cap on local property tax increases, as well as a five year tuition increase at the State University of New York and the City Colleges of New York.

Same Sex Divorce

If marriages are made in heaven, or now in the State of New York, divorces are made by the courts. Marriage is supposed to be forever, but the divorce rate upon heterosexual couples in the State of New York is close to 50%.

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have been handling divorces in the Metropolitan New York area for over 33 years. We litigate all aspects of divorce related proceedings in the Supreme Court and Family Court. These proceedings involve divorce groundsno fault divorcechild custodymothers’ rights,f athers’ rightschild supportdownward modification of child supportspousal maintenance (alimony)and domestic violence issues. In addition, we negotiate separation agreementsprenuptial agreementsand post-nuptial agreements for our clients. We litigate equitable distribution issues involving doctor, dentist and lawyer licenses. Please call us for a free consultation.

Same-sex Divorces in New York

SameSex-150x150The State of New York does not allow individuals of the same sex to legally marry. However, if individuals of the same sex entered into a valid marriage in another state and are New York residents, meeting the jurisdictional requirements of New York Domestic Relations Law, they can still obtain a divorce in New York. In the case of Dickerson v. Thomson, the Third Department of the Appellate Division (an appeals court) held that New York State courts have subject matter jurisdiction to deal with divorces arising out of same-sex relationships.

In the Dickerson case, the parties had entered into a a civil union in the state of Vermont. By the time the civil union failed, both of the parties had moved out of Vermont and were now New York residents. The State of New York recognized the civil union made in Vermont based on comity (respect for the laws of a different state). The proceeding to dissolve the civil union was brought in the State of New York.


A same-sex couple cannot get married in New York, but New York will recognize their out-of-state marriage and will therefore grant the individuals a divorce under New York law!

Should you have issues with your marriage, regardless of your sexual preference or orientation, the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo can help you. Contact us at 1-800-344-6431, or by email.

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